Why are you so skeptical? ~~Jesus (Mark 2:8-12 The Message)
There are a lot of skeptical religious leaders when it comes to embracing the digital aspects of our ministries and churches.
For the connected disciple (church member), the journey is evolving (albeit very, very fast). That shouldn’t surprise you but it is good news. Your ministry hasn’t been left behind completely. Disciples (your church members) have changed though.
Their experience of you and your ministry may not be what any of us would want it to be. In this case, relevance is defined by how relevant the experience is in a world where we can be connected anywhere, anytime. Passion for the ministry is a part of amazing experiences which includes digital aspects that are core to the ministry and not “add ons”.
How you personally decide to react or lead is up to you. It, of course, is not about technology. What is the journey of getting closer to disciples and staying relevant really about? Here are some ideas:
- Creating a culture built around the discipleship experience of Jesus and His followers being the focus of all you do. It will include digital experiences as the norm.
- Empowering ministry staff to do what it takes to create amazing experiences for the connected disciple.
- Opening up the floodgates of innovation for God including all aspects of digital experiences.
Just saying we want to get closer to the disciple won’t get your senior team on board. While a connected discipleship revolution is at your door, someone (meaning you) needs to convince the senior Pastor that change is imperative. Without that we will fail.
You know that most Ministers don’t use social networks personally. While they have smartphones, their primary utilization is for email, reading the Bible and looking at the calendar to know where to go to next. Trying to make a case that this is about technology will be a losing battle.
What is the future of your ministry built on? It isn’t about how Facebook, Twitter, iPhones, tablets or real time-time geolocation check-ins evolve. The future of your ministry does depend on the power of God to help you create relevance and the ability to at least understand technology to be able to make decisions about new opportunities. It does require the ability to strategically adapt to the new opportunities to create a compelling advantage for Jesus. Have you conducted a weekday morning video worship service on Google+ Hangouts or GoToMeeting?
But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. ~~Jesus (John 4:23 The Message)
Hmm. “Where you worship will not matter.”
So much of this is about change. There is a technology revolution occurring. Other ministries are beginning to understand this. But it is also about a whole series of real-time revolutions that are seizing how our connected disciples (church members) live which impacts their experience with us and with God. Expectations are moving fast. We can’t afford to get left behind.
The kind of change we are talking about involves three things: