Connecting is an elusive buzz word in the church these days. We need to connect with our people. We need to connect with our leadership. We need to connect with our community, with our teenagers, with our children, with our world! And all of these statements are true. It's just that most of our conversations around this idea don't produce plans to connect effectively. How do we make those contacts in such a way that real links are established and become strong, healthy relationships?
In the past, it was enough to schedule as many events as your church calendar could handle and make sure that people were connecting with their church and with each other. If the pastor announced it, folks would come to the class, bible study, or potluck and make all sorts of connections, including bringing new friends. If you scheduled it, they would come! (Yes, that is a Field of Dreams reference.)
These days, expectations are different.
Just think about this for a moment: There are 500 million active Facebook users who spend 700 billion minutes per month online. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups, and events and creates 90 pieces of content each month. And that is just Facebook! Thoughts, ideas, blogs, posts, tweets, and texts are flying around us at warp speed in any given minute, and each one of them represents an effort to connect to someone or something. That overused selfie shot that makes us roll our eyes in frustration is an example of someone saying, “See me. I’m right here.”
So, do we see them?
In a world that is used to following Twitter feeds and Facebook posts and check-ins, people want to know up front what we are about. You’ll find people clicking through websites, looking for a church’s vision statement and core values before they even step through the door. They want to know the direction that the church body is heading, and they want that direction to be clearly stated without a lot of fancy words that confuse the issue.
We no longer live in a society where the pastor of a church or the leader of a ministry is the only voice of communication. We’re not in a “monologue” status where the Sunday morning sermon is the only way to share the gospel. Instead, we are in a “dialogue” culture where people need to be heard. They have questions and thoughts about what we’re saying, and they want us to engage them.
At this time, the church – especially in North America – is at a crossroads. We have a choice to make. Are we going to be like Blockbuster and put out content focused on our current circumstances and avoid the changing culture around us? Or, are we going to be like Netflix and find new ways to deliver a familiar message? (See what happens when you try to play catch up instead of leading the pack? You end up bankrupt)
So here’s where the rubber meets the road. Are we going to be a social church or not? If we are, then we must understand some key components to that. Our society is moving more and more online, and a social church speaks the language of the culture. In this endeavor, we do not sacrifice beliefs and values, we just know how to communicate them in a way the culture around us can understand and connect to.
Our Father’s Chat knows how to help you make this connection.
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” The trend towards an online presence has made this mandate easier to live out. All we have to do is open our hearts and our ears to the culture around us and learn to communicate in their language. In doing so, we break down geographical and cultural barriers.
So let Our Father’s Chat help you get serious about coming up with that clear focus for your church. What are you passionate about? What gets you out of bed in the morning? Who do you feel called to serve? Partner with the Holy Spirit to learn the answers to these questions and then let Our Father’s Chat help you build a plan to put it into action. We can help with administration, social media, branding, graphics, videos, online chat services, and much more. We are excited to see what connections God has for you!
You have questions? We have answers.
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