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Over at FoxNews, a leading resource on ecclesiology and missiology, there is an article by Dave Adamson (@AussieDave) on Church as we know it is over. Here’s what’s next.
According to Adamson:
Church - Way - Sunday - Sporting - Event
Every church you’ve ever attended, or that you drive by on your way to a Sunday sporting event, was built on a physical attendance model that is location-centric. … But that way of doing church is dead. And just like Joshua needed to hear God say, “Moses my servant is dead” (Joshua 1:2), so he could move into the next level of leadership, I think the Church needs to accept the fate of physical church as we know it, so we can move into the next phase of digital church.
Adamson is not saying that actually attending a church in person is going to end, but that is more likely to be one stream, one option that churches will offer. Successful churches will need to offer multiple streams and platforms to their audiences. He says: “We need to understand that digital channels do not compete with physical attendance, they partner with it. And if the marketplace is an indicator, doing digital engagement well will lead to increased physical attendance.”
Adamson - Observations - Information - Age - People
I think Adamson makes some good observations, the information age is now changing how people become consumers of religion and how church is done. Certainly the effects of the internet on seminary education are far ranging and have yet to be fully felt. In addition, the internet has made multi-site/campus churches a possibility, sermons can be accessed via podcasts or you.tube, and social media sites create virtual communities where people with shared interests can interact. Also, for better or worse, churches need to be digitally savvy as part of their mission to speak into the cultural mediums of our day.
What should we make...
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