Church, there is a big difference between Digital Communications and Digital Missions. Church, if you are serious about taking the next step in your Online Church, in realizing the potential ministry that Online can bring, take some time to wrestle with this. It's understandable that not every church is thinking this way yet. Is your church ready for digital missions?
Many churches at this point utilize Digital Communications. Majority of churches have a website and a mobile app. Most utilize social media channels, albeit some do a better job managing it than others. If the endgame of your digital strategy is to get more people in the seats of your physical campuses, then chances are you are utilizing online as a Digital Communication tool. Your church's discipleship systems (evangelism, biblical community. serving) exist primarily within the physical realm. Nothing wrong with that necessarily. But you're not doing church online. You're doing church and talking about it online.
While many of churches understand the power of Digital Communications, few have understood the potential of Digital Missions.
- Is it possible to share Christ's love to someone online?
- What about creating biblical community online?
- Can true discipleship happen virtually
Digital missions requires the church to care for, to disciple outside of their local circle of influence. This is more than just celebrating an increase in Google Analytics. This is expanding your churches pastoral reach utilizing any and all technology available. We're talking discipling people online through Online Small Groups. We're talking clustering people together in different cities through House Churches, Microsites, or Pop-Up Churches. We're even talking Digital Missions as the onboarding process for Planting Churches.
Is your church ready for Digital Missions? Do you really want to do church, online? Ask yourself three questions:
- What expressions of worship are you okay with? Obviously worship in physical worship centers is accepted, but what about a guy at home on his laptop screen or smartphone? What about 10 people watching in a Living Room or 50 people in a strip mall? Is this "church" by your church's standards?
- Do you want to invest church resources into discipling people outside of your circle of influence? It's okay if the answer is no. Most churches today would not invest many resources into this. It;'s also important to note that Blockbuster Video had an opportunity to buy Netflix for pennies on the dollar. How'd that work out for both of them?
- Does this fit into your church's mission and vision? Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Is God leading you to this?