EDITOR'S NOTE: This video mentions a tragedy in Ohio, but the event in fact occurred in Michigan. Adjustments and edits have been made as possible. Apologies for any affected by this error.
The past few weeks have brought a haunting reality to the forefront of my mind. With the advent of the Internet, the world became a good bit smaller by the pure virtue of connectivity. When tragedy strikes a country across the globe, it hits the airwaves within the hour - a far cry from the print cycle of old days and further still from word of mouth.
With this digital church plant called Checkpoint Church, this point is taking on a whole new meaning for me as a leader and pastor. With the traditional parameters of a parish, I've only been the voice in the wake of local tragedies. But what do you do when your church community is stretched across the globe?
Last week, an awful event took place at the Christmas Parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Normally, I would hear about it in the news, comment on the sadness that community must feel, and then move along. However, one of our LVL2 members was intimately connected with some of those affected by the tragedy. I haven't ever known anyone in Wisconsin... but now I have family there: church family. This isn't the way it used to be - it's better.
Yesterday, there was another devastating situation that took place at a school in Ohio [Michigan]. Besides a few old friends from college, I don't have a connection to Ohio [Michigan]. But - one of our LVL2 members posted to our #prayer-requests channel that his nieces go the school where the event occurred. Suddenly, it evolved again from sympathy to empathy for one of our own church family.
I want to be clear that this is awesome. Not in a pleasant way - but in a powerful way. This connection is allowing for the tragedies we hear on the news to not be background noise. It's becoming more personal as we become more connected. Now, more than ever, I believe the Church Universal is called to digital ministry.