April 5, 2020

New Normal?

Primary Digital, the new normal

A world turned upside down? A new normal? Foundational methodology torn out from underneath us? Well sort of, but God has a way of disposing with the things that don’t work in the world we live in, to get His very timely message out of love, and grace, and redemption.

Main changes:

  1. churches will all go to streaming, both live and buffered. Why? because they either have to do that or cease to exist. This is the only place that group formerly known as the “congregation” can assemble. This may change over time, but reliance on the former concept of the physical “congregation” has to totally shift… The up-close and personal emotional engagement method has to change to a deep-touch long-term engagement model
  2. the principal issue going forward in all areas, is “engagement”. In the environment of most evangelical churches where, traditionally, the back door has been the same size as the front door, all efforts need to be focused on how best to make engagement work, and close the back door (at least as much as possible)…
  3. pastors who have grown up in the one-to-many speaking/preaching/teaching methodology will either quickly adapt to delivering their message for a camera and camera-person to facilitate engagement, or be eliminated
  4. all communication tools will need to be employed to bring together that group formerly known as the “congregation” for engagement at times/web-places
  5. quality of “delivery” will drive engagement, all churches will be meeting in the same place. It would be analogous to all the churches in the world showing up in your sanctuary at the same time…
  6. as well as delivering a message (data), the successful churches will deliver tools to harness that data for that group formerly known as the “congregation” to sustain engagement
  7. analytics will drive all future plans, and will turn your “congregation” into an “engaged” person-by-person “user base”
  8. giving will take on much more structured and personally engaged platform, competition with every church in the world meeting at the same place will mean distraction for your principal audience, that group formerly knows as the “congregation”
  9. engagement will build the platform for discipleship in a way that has not been possible up until now. The discipleship model for most evangelical churches is encapsulated in 2 words: “come back”. Sort of possible in-person in a physical environment, but not digitally. Digital discipleship has to take on a whole new meaning… No one is really “doing it”, so the pioneers here will be the “winners”. The “doing it”, is not short of content, just commitment and organization and tools.
  10. most churches will look at the “new world” in front of them as “issues to be dealt with”, and will attack the problem with the same worldly task-management process with which they deal with most other issues. The winners in this process will first consult the word of God, second pray intensely, about what to do, and third meet with and consult their leadership and outside experts on how to make these changes. Most will take the instantaneous low-budget approach of Facebook/YouTube live to move to this next stage in this “new world”, but will fail miserably because there is no actual engagement, just the transmission of data.
The next steps will be hard work, as we all know, from Colossians 3:23  “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” In the physical world, “hard work” has a certain set of measurement tools that only loosely apply to the digital world. The results model in the digital world will require a whole set of “standards” to make work…