Online and offline churches intend to maintain connection of the Christian community, but the question arises as to how the online communities within the Christian church are able to uphold engagement when the online realm is much more individualized compared to the traditional church.
I have chosen Saddleback Church as my research case study. Saddleback is a megachurch located in Southern California with eight satellite locations and an Internet campus. I will be focusing on the community aspects that the Internet Campus has to offer and how they encourage online community fellowship within the church. There are multiple service times that are streamed online on a daily basis as well as online small groups that are available for anyone that is interested in getting plugged in to the community without making the trip to an offline location. Saddleback Church is intent in reaching out to their community, keeping their members well informed about events that are occurring within the church as well as other outside projects.
I am interested in learning more about Saddleback and the effort the church makes to maintain an online community that might otherwise not be as promising as a traditional, offline church community. Furthermore, it will be interesting to discover how the members maintain a common ground without individualization overshadowing due to the flexible boundaries of an online community.