Microsite is the new hotness. So, we really should stop to think through the implications and carefully weigh out the biblical merit of the movement. Never jump headlong into any trend without considering that.
But, honestly, I’ve found that when people ask if microsite is biblical, what they’re really wondering about is spiritual formation. Are people truly growing in Christ when they’re watching church on couches? Can they mature as disciples around dining room tables?
The answer is this: It depends. It’s the same issue you have with small groups, for example. You can run the gamut of everything from true biblical community to something closer to a TV-watching, snack-chomping party. The biblical bonafides of calling microsites a church aren’t in the container as much as they are in the intentionality.
Acts points out that early believers met from home to home, but they weren’t there just to hang. They were there to eat together, to learn together, to pray together. The Twelve were set aside to focus on studying and teaching, but the nitty gritty of that teaching played out in smaller communities.
Let’s just be blunt here. Microsites are not church buildings. For some people, that’s a non-starter. And so, if they’re the type who thinks “having church” requires a steeple and a pulpit in a building down the street, then microsites aren’t for them. But the Bible never defined the early church by a type of building. The Bible defines the church by people—specifically, disciples making disciples making disciples.
On the other hand, just having a live-stream on a Sunday doesn’t automatically mean you have a church gathering. If there’s no vital connection to a body of believers, no life change, then you have a spectator sport. Microsite churches—if they truly are churches—depend on intentionality toward discipleship. This shows up in many ways, such as people using their gifts, a focus on studying the Word together, worship, prayerfulness, serving each other, evangelism, and everything you’d expect in a vibrant, life-giving church.
Not every microsite will be killing it in all these areas, but you should see an intentional effort in that direction. A church is supposed to be a living thing, no matter where that church meets.
So, is microsite biblical? It depends. But that’s true for any community that calls itself a church.
How can you ensure your microsites will be biblical? You have to think strategically. You prayerfully watch where God’s at work, and then you go in with a plan.