The last two years proves we don’t know what’s going to happen when it comes to future predictions. Having said that, the church does need to look around and observe the changing culture. To reach a changing culture, the church needs to change. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t need to change the message, just the method. One is sacred. The other is not.
Tony Morgan is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. He recently reported:
- The average in-person attendance over the previous 12 months dropped by 30%. This includes the total of all people, including children.
- There was a 17% increase in the number of new people that churches started tracking in their database over the last year compared to the year before.
- The average number of online service views (one minute or more) per week has gone up more than 150% from the year before.
- Churches reported on average that their total general fund giving was down 1.6% from the previous year.
Here are five things we need to realize if we want our church to be relevant in the years ahead.
1. Real Interaction with Real People Online is Real.
Sure, face to face might be better, but people will tell you things online they can’t muster the courage to tell you face to face. Whether you get them into the actual church building is increasingly debatable. As much as you might not like it, virtual relationships are becoming real relationships.
2. Technology is Here to Stay.
Actually it always has been here, from the rudimentary tools that were used by the first humans to hunt animals to the invention of the printing press to computers and everything in-between. All civilizations and social groups achieved technological breakthroughs, which still benefit us today. The church needs to continue to accept and use new technology in order to reach this culture and beyond.
3. Embrace the Difficult Questions.
Most unchurched people today come in with questions that seem strange to those of us who spent a lifetime in church. Churches that understand that embracing questions is as important as providing immediate answers will make an impact in the future. Sometimes the questions cannot be answered. This culture is not looking for “pat answers”. From my experience, if you the embrace questions, instead of avoiding them, the answers eventually find their way into people’s lives.
4. Value Experimentation.
The churches that connect with their community will be the churches willing enough to try a variety of things, and who also have the courage to stop them as soon as they stop producing results. If you start to raise the value of experimentation, you will accelerate change and flexibility.
5. Look Outside.
Churches that become passionate about people outside their walls will be far more effective than churches that are passionate about keeping the few people they have inside their walls. Better still, you will have a healthier church. Selfless and mature churches will have an impact on this culture because of their passion for people in their communities.
It’s very possible to reach this culture if the church is willing to change its thinking. It’s not easy, change never is, but progress is impossible without change. At StreamingChurch.tv, we are all about helping ministries use technology and more to reach this culture. Let us help you, email us today, [email protected].
On March 15th at 12:00 PM, StreamingChurch.tv will host a free 30 minute webinar called 4 Easy Steps To Leverage Your Live Stream for Ministry Growth Outline. We will discuss how you can include next Steps in your live streaming among other things. Register today!