No one can really predict what the church will be like in 2030. However, take a picture of all the devices you use. They will all be slower and look uglier in just the next eight years. A tsunami of change is waiting for us. The next five years of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) is about to rock our world.
The printing press had grown in popularity in North America by the 1880s. At that time, we still had no computers, fax machines, cars, radios, televisions, copy machines, aeroplanes, air conditioning, or the internet. For Church Administrators, there was no email marketing, Church Relationship Management (CRM), websites or Church Apps.
Church buildings stood empty in 2020. It forced church leaders to be relevant, and think about how to attract online. The focus shifted from whether churches should utilize social media marketing to developing social media strategies. Amid an abundance of opportunities, it has to come down to picking social channels that work best for you.
By 1980, IBM produced its own personal computer. By 1983, IBM became the world’s leading personal computer producer. By 1984, over one million computers had been sold. It is not that IBM had better research and knew that this would happen. Everything they were absolutely certain about was disrupted. Yes, it was the “new normal” then just like it is the new normal now. IBM had to reorganize. Just thinking about growth will never be enough. When kids started playing computer games and the computer industry changed, guess who won? The thinker (Univac) or the doer (IBM)?
The 3 C’s of an EPIC online ministry are Celebrate (Sundays), Connect (Small groups and pastoral care), and Contribute (time and resources). Without an unrelenting focus on Discipleship, Engagement, and Faith-building Community (DEF), hunger for likes, followers and “busianity” will replace Christianity. Losing the spiritual focus and valuing the wrong things are dangers that Church leaders needs to avoid. Counting the wrong things, the trappings, will not get us anywhere.
Church leaders today post their point of view on social channels. Instead of mailing a letter, we send emails and text messages as a way of direct marketing. We are all learning as we minister to our congregations. Neither Blog 101, Podcast 101, Social Channels 101, nor Lead Generation 101 were courses during our time at Bible College. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), 5G, and virtual reality are pushing us to the forefront of using technology to extend God’s kingdom.
The speed of change and strategy you adopt needs to fit your context. Leveraging digital transformation is about how you navigate your leadership mindset, skillset, and toolset.
In 1759, Benjamin Franklin discovered that lightning is electrical. It was a signal of change to all candle makers…Sixteen years before the 2020 pandemic, in August of 2004, Craig Groeschel had a satellite uplink built at the Oklahoma City campus that provided LifeChurch.tv the capacity to send a live video worldwide. Craig received criticism for starting an online church…
When it comes to improving email open rates, boosting click-through rates, and decreasing unsubscribed rates, email segmentation is a great place to start…
India’s first Metaverse wedding reception, or a virtual reality church service offered by Life.Church is only the beginning. The next five years will be influenced by 5G, artificial intelligence (A.I.), and virtual reality for every content provider. Schools, university, and even churches are about to experience a tsunami of change.
An old way to look at church management was based on ROI (return on investment). We monitored ABC (attendance, building, and cash). The current way is about on DEF (Discipleship, Engagement, Faith-building community). A good CRM helps us integrate the two together as we now seek ROR (return on relationship).
A cliché states, “If Moses had a map, he wouldn’t have wandered for forty years.” A church leader needs a strategic roadmap to navigate the current pace of change. What is your map?