I have during the last few days had several meetings with the legendary Swedish pastor, Stanley Sjöberg, who has shared his new project with me – an online church. Now, this idea has been around for quite a few years, but in Sweden it has been a rather neglected phenomenon.
Stanley, who in addition to being a very kind man, also is a very strong defender of the faith, has throughout his career often taken a firm public stance. But then again, his early years working closely with the legendary Pentecostal leader Lewi Pethrus, has probably fostered him better than most in the virtue of not being afraid.
Now, is it hard to start an online church? Not at all. The underlying platform for Webbkyrkan.com, together with the graphical implementation, was bougth from a catholic church in the US for approximately $100. Then Stanley forked out another couple of hundered dollars from his own pocket to have a couple of people translate and adapt the content. Off he goes with an online church. Once a week he sits down and delivers a speech that is then quickly edited and published on Youtube. And subsequently embedded on webbkyrkan.com
Does he reach people? Absolutely. His clips are viewed by far more people than visit even the largest church in Sweden on any given Sunday. Should we learn? Even more so. I wrote the other day about a speech made by Gary Hamel in a Menlo Park church where he argued for re-inventing the church. We need to do that. What makes anybody believe that you can only be a good Christian if you go to church on Sunday? How many are locked out by that attitude? I don’t even dare to follow that question to the end…
Johan Jorgensen, CEO and Founder