Church In The Metaverse A New Way of Worship In The Spirit

Church In The Metaverse A New Way of Worship In The Spirit
William Jackson, Let The Bible Speak TV Jos, Nigeria
Podcast: My Quest To Teach Digital Evangelism

Black Meta Fest 2022 POAP
Black Meta Fest 2022 POAP

Technology has touched many areas of peoples life including
church services, sharing a person’s faith is one of the most
personal things humans can do. The development of Web 2.0,
Web 3.0, social media platforms, Apps, streaming services,
and even the Metaverse have changed, and will continue to
change the way people attend church services, praise,
worship and even fellowship. There is no place where
technology is not seen to be influencing how people are
living and worshiping.

The Black Meta Fest 2022, a Celebration of Black History
Month in the Metaverse, concluded a week-long event that
included a youth and teen component where students
shared their digital NFTs, students globally participated in
panel discussions and even taught in workshops. This
represents the future of how youth and teens today will be
affected by technology. Teens are even attending
church online.

The growth of digital places and spaces means changes in
influencing the forms of worship, this is extending beyond
gaming and virtual social engagement and activities. The
gaming industry has digital access through the platforms
people are playing in worlds, spaces and places. Years
before the pandemic people were competing, fighting,
building,  developing, making and designing in digital worlds.
The Metaverse is an extension in real time and with “real”

People are avatars, a representation of themselves that
people have built to the design of their own wishes, desires
and how they see themselves digitally. Programs like Sim City,
Planetbase, Stronghold, Rollercoaster Tycoon (Nintendo
Switch), and Aven Colony (2017 to PS4, Xbox One and PC),
just to name a few are pre-metaverse games allowing
people to build their worlds and interact in them. People
are the “kings and queens” of created empires, kingdoms,
domains and villages, cities and communities.

The potential goes beyond just building there is almost a
god like mentality that at the drop of a hat what was created
can be destroyed and started over again. In these games
people have created phenomenal places, but never comparing
to what God had created in reality.  Attending our first church
service in the Metaverse was a uniquely interesting experience.
Adjusting to the feelings of no physical contact, looking at people
as avatars that replaced their and our physical forms. Having
seats in the auditorium, but not having to sit down (we were
already sitting at home on the coach).

Being careful of not “standing” in front of other people. Standing
next to someone, if they did not have their “bubble” on to protect
against digital touching or other unwanted contact. The singing
was a recording of praise and worship music that was played through computer speakers. As my wife and I listened, we understood that
truly praise and worship is in the spirit and not a physical engagement.
Being reminded by the scripture, John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those
who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
You really do not get the understanding of this until you see yourself
as an avatar standing in a “church” in the Metaverse.

Getting past the fact that we were on our computer, in AltSpace, understanding that the other attendees were believers as well,
digital representations and having to participate in reading scripture
to the audience was a profound awakening even for both of us as
content creators, speakers and teachers of technology. Looking out
into the audience and seeing digital people gives an appreciation of
being human and having human engagement.

Participating brings a whole new mind-set that people globally are
attending digital services in spaces like these. They are singing,
praising, worshiping and fellowshipping with others. The knowledge
that God is not looking at our bodies, but looking at our hearts for
true worship and service.

Being caution not focusing on our digital presence, but how our
heart is, not being in the space to be seen, but to be in the space
to worship, praise, pray and serve. It is easy to see in AltSpace
people are building communities, cites, landscapes and worlds,
but the true builder is the Lord. We cannot elevate
ourselves mentally into believing we are equal or even close
to the Lord.

We do not have his wisdom, his power, his sovereign essence.
We are His creations and no matter what type of technology
we use, create, apply and integrate into our lives God is supreme
over everything. One thought came to my mind as we listened to
the minister preaching and teaching, that no matter how powerful
we delusion ourselves to be, all that is needed is for
the power to be turned off and this world will be disconnected from
us. The element of electricity can be shut off, turned off, and
interrupted. The lights going out will snap us out of our self-perceived importance and snap us back into a reality we need to live in.

Our faith is what sustains us and it is only through grace and mercy
are we alive and our sins forgiven if we are baptized and announce
our understanding and belief in the death burial and resurrection
of Jesus Christ that we are saved.

As humans we should never get it twisted that we are not in total
control of anything, all things are managed by God. Psalm 24:1
A Psalm of David. “The earth is the Lord’s, and (a)all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.”
We should have the opportunity at least once to attend church
in the Metaverse on Altspaces to experience it and see how
even God can see us in virtual places. No where can we hide from
our father. He is everywhere, so be careful of your
heart, your mind-set and your dependency on technology.

When we are called home, there is no reset button nor the ability
to respawn and come back. We have this life to get it right before
we are all called home. If we become lost in the Metaverse we
must make sure we understand what Thomas learned when
speaking with Chist in John 14:5 Thomas said to him (Christ),
“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know
the way?” John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the
truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”