Day 18 of the 500-words daily writing challenge
If I make my message mobile, will people stop coming to my place?
That’s the fear I’ve seen expressed by many people in churches, and I wonder if it’s the same fear in those who teach and work at institutes of higher education.
The worry is an old one, at least as far as church is concerned.
<< Back in the day <<
In the 1900s, many people took to the air through this newfangled thing called radio.
Preachers preached to the nation on AM (and later) FM radio. Then television came along and the televangelist was born.
I’ve never seen research that showed a drop in church attendance specifically because of church services on broadcast media, but that was certainly a worry for churches trying to decide if they should buy air time.
>> Fast forward to now >>
It’s almost 2020, and today “air time” on the internet is cheap and almost easy.
Online churches are real places people can go to participate in worship services, watching and listening to praise songs and sermons.
And people are still worried that folks won’t come to church if the church creates an online church.
This is an issue worth exploring
This week, I heard a podcast on it and read a completely unrelated article about it.
I also read the comments. Wow!
I’ve been advised to skip reading comments, but I find them insightful. Now I know how a lot of people feel about this issue—not just the feelings of the two podcasters and the blogger.
There are common arguments that I want to tackle in future blog posts—and possibly on a podcast episode at OnTheGo.FM.
I believe there are important nuances being overlooked by church leaders and many church members. But I won’t try to get into detail about those in this article.
Instead, I want to clearly state that I believe in-person connections at church are important.
I also want to clarify what I’ve been saying for a long time. When I say you should make your message mobile, I don’t mean that you should shut the doors and sell your building (church or school).
Go mobile with the teaching, training, and stories that are currently only available at specific times in your building, on your campus, and in your classrooms.
When you do that, people who want to learn can do so whenever and wherever it’s best for them.
If you do this . . .
People will be thankful that you reached out to them in this way to keep them connected.
If they were already part of your church, they will return in person when their schedule and commitments allow.
If they are new to your church, then they will choose you when they decide to take their next steps toward faith and fellowship with others.
Take a look at what is already happening in churches around you—and probably in your own church right now.
Attendance is dropping.
It’s not because they want to see your church service on Facebook Live. People are showing up less and less as our culture continues changing.
And if you’re not going to make your message mobile, they won’t have any spiritual connection with your church.
Shift your mindset.
Don’t think of online church, online Bible studies, videos, and podcasts as competition to gathering in your building. Instead, think of those things as lifelines.
Reach them through the technology they carry with them everywhere.
Make your message mobile so people can learn on the go.