The Weekly Link Roundup consists of select articles from my reading around the Internet this past week. You can see all of my bookmarks on Pinboard.
Today 47 percent agree that at least some people will experience their faith exclusively through the internet within the coming decade. Is the prospect a problem? Theologically no, according to the nearly 9 out of 10 pastors (87%) who told the Barna Group it is “theologically acceptable” to seek “faith assistance” or “religious experiences” online. Nearly 4 out of 10 pastors (39%) say they now do so themselves, according to Barna’s recent survey examining the online actions and attitudes of more than 600 pastors. By comparison, in 2000 only 78 percent of pastors felt online religious experiences were theologically acceptable, and only 15 percent used the internet for their own religious experiences.
From Chuck Lawless–here are some I can relate to as a church leader:
- We base our worth on results. If our organization does well, we look better; if not so well, the failure hits at the core of our being. When we base our value on the success of the organization we lead, seldom do we delegate responsibility to others. It’s simply too risky to do so.
- We don’t have time or energy to train others. Training is time-consuming. It’s messy. It’s risky. Rather than take that chance, it’s just easier to do it all ourselves and cloak our efforts under “the urgency of the gospel.”
- We do not see the vast needs of the world. It’s easy to hold on to everything when the full scope of our ministry is only our church and perhaps our community. Multiply those needs by the 2 billion people in the world who have little exposure to the gospel, however, and the need to delegate becomes obvious. Unless we multiply ourselves by training and delegation, we will not make a dent in that darkness.
- We don’t pray enough for laborers. Jesus – our Lord, who Himself delegated the work of the kingdom to a bunch of nobodies – taught us to pray for more laborers even as we work in the fields (Luke 10:1-2). If we truly prayed like Jesus taught us, we would need to be prepared and willing to share the workload with others.
- Understand Your Church Members. Who is it that you are trying to reach?
- Explore Communication Options. Your older church members may still love getting their updates from the weekly bulletin, but your busier younger congregates may like the convenience of checking in with you online. Look at your church demographics and determine what types of communication methods will work best when you want to post about church news and events.
- Offer Inspirational Messages. Take the time to write posts or send emails that also address issues of your faith. To engage your church members, tie your faith messages in with current challenges they may be facing. A mid-week message of hope from you may be just what your attenders need to make it to Sunday.
- Encourage Open Communication. In all of your communications you should be inviting feedback and making it clear how and when you can be reached. If you send emails, check for responses regularly. Look at your churches web site or social media site daily to check if a visitor has a question or comment for you. Two-way conversation shows that you are interested in your community and value their participation. The trick is to make you sure that you see it and respond.