New World Church Authority
I was at the Leadership Summit today. I am always refreshed during The Summit. Today was no different.
Session three featured Gary Hamel. Gary said:
“Millennials have a hard time finding Jesus in the long shadow of organized religion”.
Churches need to realize that a new generation is emerging where bureaucracy is no longer accepted. Young people are beginning to fight against things that appear contrived and over-organized. They are not looking for organized religion but for genuine authenticity.
If you look at the web, who determines authority? Does someone have authority because they claim it, buy it, or are appointed? No, they have it when they earn it by adding value to a given community. This is particularly evident through the influence of certain bloggers. They gain authority when the value they add (through what they say) is identified by those in their online community as meaningful and authentic. People “follow” them and endorse their online voice.
When it comes to the church, I think we are seeing a little of this shift as well. With millennials particularly, just because a church has a history of prominence does not guarantee that to be accepted by this group. Certain pastors like Craig Groeschel are gaining authority online because of the value and connection they bring to this age-group. What is Craig doing differently? He is leveraging technology in creative ways to meet millenials where they are at. LifeChurch.tv is unique and cutting edge in that sense with their online services. Craig has authenticity with this group.
Does this mean your church has to leverage technology to have an authoritative voice. Not necessarily, but it does help. In a recent survey of young adults the results clearly indicated that they were looking for authenticity and a strong technology presence in a relevant church community.
So, what I would suggest is that churches begin to show their character and authenticity through technology. Make sure technology becomes an integrated part of your ministry. You don’t have to do it all at once but you really do have to start. Gary also indicated in his talk today that an organization loses relevance when internal change lags behind external change. Don’t let your church lag. Move forward. Embrace technology – it is changing at high-speed. Incorporate a vibrant web and social media experience. Engage your church in an authentic online community – it will add to your credibility and to your authoritative voice. If you don’t start you risk inertia and that will never give you a voice to speak to this generation desperately searching for the message of hope that you can (and need to) bring them.Tweet