Do you adapt to new technology easily? With some people, it’s like they have some kind of techy-gene in their DNA that enables them to adapt quickly to whatever cool gadgets hit the market. For others, they’re still using paper ledgers, phone books, fold-out road maps, and they still watch the nineteen-inch black-and-white TV they had in college. Take e-readers, as an example. Give one to a more “maturely-aged” individual, and get ready for the amusement to begin. Here are the top reasons the technically-challenged do not like e-readers:
- I can’t dog-ear the pages.
- I keep losing it on the bookshelf.
- It doesn’t make a good doorstop.
- My bookmark keeps sliding off.
- I’m constantly having to clean the screen of smudges from licking my finger to turn the page!
The rapid technonological advances are enough to stretch even the most avid tech geek. Before you know it, your cool device is little more than an expensive paperweight.
Church, Inc. is all about getting stuck in time and methodology. It’s about losing focus on communicating the gospel to the culture in a comprehendable way. You must guard against a degree of spiritual smugness because you feel you have moved away from doing church as usual. Always be aware that today’s innovation is tomorrow’s Church, Inc. Here are some shifts I see on the horizon: I already see a shift from the attractional model of church to a more authentic/service model. I believe the megachurch will lose its appeal. Churches will be smaller and more mobile and adaptable. The role of full-time senior pastor will evolve into the pastor earning his living in another way so the church can be free of having to pay salaries. The church leadership will arise from within the church family, and there will be less hiring of professional ministers from outside the church. More and more churches will rent, borrow, or share facilities instead of owning property. Wait…sounds kind of like those early churches in the New Testament! What gives? More to the point, are you positioned for these shifts? Will you be able to adapt?
We have taken our eyes off the ball. While we have been chasing the latest technology and methodology, going to conferences to learn how to be uber creative and innovative, we have been charmed away from the simplicity of ministry and of the gospel. In our effort to remain cutting edge we create another incarnation of Church, Inc., which is what we were trying to get away from in the first place! You may think you’re bucking the system and playing the role of a renegade, but you’re just helping to shape another church system that only a few years down the road someone else will label as irrevelevant and outdated. The key in keeping up is not staying ahead of the curve of innovation, but sticking to the mission. Rather than trying to fit God’s mission into the latest cool model, let God’s mission shape your ministry approach where you are. Now, that’s real innovation that will never need an upgrade or become “yestertech.”