Image Credit: Provided by Douglas Laughlin

Northwest Member Pioneers New Online Church Experience

Douglas Laughlin, a leader from Open Door Fellowship in northwestern Washington and a lifelong church planter, felt called by God to find a better way to do online church.

Following the pandemic, half of the members of closed churches didn't return. Now, a large portion of the population builds their social circles online, rather than seeking connections in person.

The implications are staggering. Though living all around us, many people are non-responsive to entering a local church or coming and responding to traditional evangelism.

Deeply troubled by this disconnect, Laughlin, felt compelled to bridge this gap.

He assembled a team composed of his wife, Darla; sister, Sharon, who is a retired pastor’s wife; and long-time friends, Daryl Crouch, and his seminary-trained daughter, Philana.

They rejected the notion of passive online worship, aptly termed "lonely worship," and instead crafted Worship Connection — a fellowship-based model for online church.

Worship Connection, the newest addition to the Adventist family of churches, has a unique focus on reaching those who feel most at home online. This fully online church is here to spread the gospel in the digital age.

What does an online church look like? Here’s a word tour along with some visual screenshots.

A Sabbath School wing fosters interactive study and sharing, mirroring the experience of local churches.

Additionally, Worship Connection boasts an inviting online lobby where members can video chat and share laughter at virtual tables.

Of course, there's a sanctuary — a digital space where worshipers greet and interact with others in their virtual pew while united in the shared worship experience.

Attendees can text chat with fellow worshipers or even take the stage to share their thoughts with the entire congregation.

A man from Washington sits in a virtual row with his girlfriend from Canada, sometimes joined by his mother from Florida. They've found a sense of belonging and connection through Worship Connection that transcends geographical boundaries. It's a whole new way of doing church, and they wouldn't have it any other way.

If you're enthusiastic about joining this inspiring online ministry or becoming a charter member of Worship Connection, visit and explore the possibilities. To reach out directly, email Laughlin at

Featured in: July/August 2024