Why Listening to a Podcast Is Not a Substitute for Going to Church

Go to Church

On one hand, I think it’s a great thing that technology has enabled church to meet people where they are. Some people may be in a place where they don’t have a physical Christian community. In many parts of the world, the freedom to worship isn’t available. For those people, if they have internet access, they can watch church services from another part of the world—that’s a beautiful thing.

But, if you’re in a place where there are physical churches down the street and you have the option of being a part of a physical church community, I would question why you’re just choosing to watch something on your computer screen on a Sunday morning.

It’s healthy to have physical touch points with people in your life, even more so the church.

The Sacrifice of Going to Church

First of all, it perpetuates the consumer, individualistic posture toward Christianity when your comfort and your convenience are prioritized. The inconvenience of having to go to an actual, physical church is part of the point and the sacrifice of what it means to follow Jesus. It’s healthy to make the sacrifice of getting up at a certain time on Sunday, driving, walking, getting to your physical church.

Church Is Communal

The other really important thing about physical Christian community is that something special happens when you’re in a physical presence—there’s something incarnational about Christianity. Being able to take physical communion with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ—that’s something the Christian church has done for 2,000 years. It has been a central, physical act and liturgy for the entire history of our faith. It’s so important that we’re there as embodied creatures, celebrating our physicality with one another in singing, eating the communion elements together, and praying— especially in a world that is so disembodied.


Brett McCracken

Uncomfortable makes a compelling case that following Jesus calls us to embrace the more difficult aspects of Christianity in the context of the local church.

Think about the trajectory of our society—it’s moving from a physicality to a disembodied reality in which we can live our entire day through computer screens. We never talk to anyone, we never have physical proximity to anyone, and we’re only just beginning to see the negative side effects of this reality.

Twenty years from now, we may see dramatic side effects of the disembodied reality of our world today. It’s healthy to have physical touch points with people in your life, especially in the church.

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