Archive for the ‘virtual presence’ category

Mission presence in Europe: real or imagined?

March 19, 2010

How much mission in Europe is now on-line? Jesus promised in Matt 28:19-20 that he would continue to be present in and through our mission. What does the mean when our mission in Europe is taking place in chat rooms, appearing on blogs, and expanding across social networking sites?

What can we learn from the Roman Catholic Church’s understanding of the ‘real presence’ of Christ – not necessarily in the bread and wine of communion, but in and through our missionary activity and initiatives. When mission was being talked about during the 70s and 80s as ‘Mission in the way of Christ’, the ongoing presence of Christ in the missionary endeavour was part of the picture.

So, if we are engaged in digital mission, in what way is Christ present in the digital virtual space? Can mission be both real and virtual? Can Christ be present both in a real and a virtual sense?

It seems to me that this is not just a theoretical point. If Christ can be present in the digital space then he can be ‘met’ there and presumably his transforming presence makes personal and social and transformation possible?

I wonder who is giving this kind of mission practice any missiologial attention. It is certainly true that in Europe an ever increasing number of Christians are using the internet for social networking purposes. Some of them are certainly attempting to enter it as digital missionaries. There have been some attempts to think about this theologically – why are more missiologists not giving this important and growing mission activity in Europe a little bit more attention?