“The Real” co-hosts shared their views on whether it's OK to watch church services online or best to attend services in-person during a recent episode of the daytime talk show.
The internet has made it possible for pastors to share the Gospel beyond the four walls of the church. But some believe online ministry has led to a growing population of the unchurched.
The Christian Post reported last week, however, that church experts said the data show a “growing engagement among the faithful with ministries online, with some even choosing to fellowship exclusively on the internet.”
The co-hosts of “The Real” discussed the topic on their show.
“Now, thanks to the internet, people can receive God's good book on apps like Facebook which allows you to sit in front of your computer and give praise in your own living room,” Tamera Mowry-Housely said, addressing those who make excuses to explain why they don't attend church.
She noted that some churchgoers view watching service online as “a cop-out” and say that it “doesn’t count.”
“I agree that I think that the fellowship is something you can only get at church," Jeannie Mai added, "but I also believe that dedicated time with God is what church is all about. So when I can't make it, I'm so thankful to have online services.”
The ladies around the table said the often watch Pastor Steven Furtick, Hillsong, and Pastor Ralph West via streaming services and they enjoy it.
“Church is not the building, it's the people!” Adrienne Houghton-Bailon, who is married to worship leader Israel Houghton, declared.
“I feel like some of the most intimate moments that I've had with God have been alone in my house, in my alone, private prayer time," she added. "But I think, for me, I enjoy doing both. I love the idea of being in a congregation and worshiping with other people. I love that expression.
Houghton-Bailon said her favorite part of attending church is the praise and worship.
“What would you prefer, watching a concert online or being there in person?” Houghton-Bailon asked. “I feel like, whereever you get that word in, just get it in.”
Mowry-Housely interjected, asserting that she likes having online sermons as an option because of her travel schedule but ultimately enjoys the community of church.
“I'm with you. I love praise and worship and I also love fellowship and also you learn what you can do to volunteer when you're there. But say a person God saved by watching the service online and that is where they're learning about God, don't knock them on that,” the “Sister Sister” actress maintained.
Co-host Loni Love, admitted that she likes “watching church from TV. Bedside Baptist, that's what I call it,” she said.
Some of the ladies even promoted giving tithes and offerings online or via an app.
The segment concluded with Love, a popular comedian, making a final statement which all the ladies agreed with: “There's nothing like being in a room with people and you're feeling the same energy — you feeling the jokes, you feel the praise. So take some time to actually go and be present,” Love concluded.