Nerd Pastor Nate
Whole Body Digital Ministry
I was recently reading a passage out of a book that opposes digital church ministry and was struck by one of their arguments that, ironically, seemed to reinforce digital ministry. In this passage, the author makes an argument that breaks down the importance of worship. The truth of the worship experience is that it is an opportunity to engage in the 'whole body worship' of God. This argument is rooted in the concept of worship being a form of physical prostration to the all-powerful. The author highlights how the structure of worship described in Romans 12 refers to offering the body (sōma) as opposed to the physical body (sarx) or spiritual body (pneuma). Instead of one or the other, it's a metaphysical blending of the two.
I'm unsure if it's God's usual sense of humor or not, but I doubt this passage would have struck as soundly had I not just finished Cyberpunk 2077. Without spoiling anything, this game ends on a particularly challenging conundrum of the transhuman argument of what is the body and soul in regards to our mortality. And how was the idea centered? Technologically. Digitally. The view offered by the developers focused on the possibility that we are capable of being our true selves only in a digital form.
I won't go so far as to say that digital is the best way to worship God fully. I'll be the bigger person in that debate compared to my peers, who often put down the power of digital ministry. But I would encourage more profound thought on what it means to transcend an understanding of physical worship and soul worship. How can we enter that sōma worship? First, we can stop bickering and accept that God works in all forms of ministry. Then, we can challenge our conceptions of worship and ask, "How is whole-body worship happening in our worship experience?" For Checkpoint, we are constantly experimenting with this concept. One example - we are putting our whole selves into the media we consume. We aren't allowing it to shape us; instead, we are allowing God to work within it. We are offering (prostrating) our media before God. Where are you putting your whole self into your worship?