Another quote from Ronald Cole-Turner’s excellent short paper “Science, Technology and Mission.”
Very likely, computers and the Internet will create new horizontal ecclesiastical structures that will overlay traditional vertical structures, such as denominations, or local association, such as local ecumenical councils. Alongside these will rise new linkages built upon digitized networks and electronic pathways. These new forms of non-local structure will follow special concerns or forms of mission rather than geography or denomination, and they will permit heightened levels of interactivity and mutuality. At the same time, denominations might experience new strength and vitality as the attain an increase ability to link local congregations into a truly connectional or organic reality, capable of subtle feedback loops and heightened self-awareness.
The paper’s now 4-5 years old but what we’re seeing out there in the blogosphere seems very much in tune with this. I like his view that it’s not either traditional or non-traditional/emerging churches that take advantage of this but both.