Church Web Strategies is a website poking at the digital methods churches can use to improve sharing the Gospel online recently posed the posture of a church that goes digital by default. They posted four methods that can be taken forward:
- Prayer Requests
- Music Sharing
There are some nice starts to ideas here, but having been through this topic several times in the past, there are definitely some considerations that each of these listed methods. For example, all of these methods start at what the church does administratively to push traditional messages. There’s nothing happening in these which are truly digitally native expressions of parts of the church, service, or community experience. And that’s because we are talking about folks who are not native to digital themselves – we’d need to look towards church communities where access to digital tech, not just use of it, is something that’s normal and embedded within all of the community. Digital as a layer only works for so long.
An example of digital native expressions could be a bible study where the outline and associated materials are shared first through SMS/MMS and social networking services between the attendees. Once they connect in person, the study leader enables his preferred study environment that also opens for those in attendance. For those who cannot attend, they get a remote connect link (thnk: WebEx or remote desktop with audio stream) to the class. Clicking on Scriptures in the notes opens to your preferred reader (think: bib.ly). Each person has their own digital notepad in which this saves into. Those who want it printed send it to their home/office printer or have a service like FedEx deliver it printed by the next morning. And then there is a mandatory “share this lesson” button where each attendee is asked to share the lesson with another and those metrics are shared with the entire community – the study leader able to see trends in how the lesson is shared over time (but not whom it was shared with). Lastly, all attendees have a dashboard where they can map their studies over time, reviewing topics, categories, and historical correlations to what they’ve been studying against commentaries, devotionals, and church history.
That’s just an example. And the kind of digital experience that lends to a bit more to native interactions that aren’t just digital by default, but hopeful towards transformation.