What is NOW and NEXT in Ministry Notes

thGeoff Surrat and a Church Planting Guru who has held basically every position ever created in a Church before.  He lead an Affinity Group (basically a breakout group with a lot of discussion) at ReThink Leadership on what is happening now in ministry and what lies ahead.  Here are my notes from that session.

What are some of the issues Churches are facing today – a question Geoff asked the audience.  This was their response:
  • How to handle the gender-confusion
  • Trends towards less frequent church attendance
  • Will the Church keep it’s Non-profit status
  • What is next with worship
  • Communication in a hyper-generation world
  • Are 20/30s leaving faith?

Culture is changing very fast.  What we have been doing is less and less effective.  As church leaders we have to change and adapt.

We’ve been doing church the same way for years!  We have freedom to change, we just don’t know what that is yet.

What drives change??  Technology is what changes culture.

What technology has disrupted culture? This was a question Geoff asked the audience – this was their responses:

  • smartphones
  • uber
  • social media
  • gaming
  • students are getting drivers licenses later

Church was where you went to learn about the bible and religion.  Church was where you get prayed for.

Now if you want to learn that stuff, you can go to YouTube or podcasts or blogs to learn all that stuff. You don’t need to go to Church anymore to get that stuff.

The challenge is to reach an impersonal culture with a personal God. We have to be careful about giving into culture.  But we have to figure it out

  1. Information is now available 24/7- Church is no longer the center to get info on bible/God
  2. Everything is reviewed…tells us that everyone’s opinion matter
  3. Anyone can be a star (it is so much easier)

We have to figure out what it means to be connected to a church.  There is no such thing as brand loyalty.  They will go to 1 church because of the youth program and another for the worship and yet another because the preaching is better.

Attention span has dropped huge (Average time on a website: 58 seconds). Average Ted talk is 18 minutes – research shows the longest someone can pay attention is 18 minutes

What can we do in light of the fact that attention spans are so short?

  • be more interactive
  • change it up

What about Online Church. How effective is that?  Geoff points out that Online Church can be effective as long as you answer the question – is it a bridge or is it a destination?

What do you think about what is happening NOW and NEXT in ministry?  How can the church best reach an impersonal culture with a personal God?  Share your thoughts below or on social media using #rl16 and #ymsidekick.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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