I attend a small church in a rural community. I’m talking less than 150 on Sunday morning small. Yet, I see two trends in our church that I hope speak to the future of growing churches. The first is that the fastest growing and most engaged group is shifting from those in their 50’s amd 60’s to the 25-35 age range. This trend is literally bringing life, as our nursery and childrens ministry is growing. The second tend is that In that 25-35(ish) class, there are four of us currently blogging. In a small church, in rural Indiana. Not all of the blogs are “Christian” blogs. One is about football, another teaches on the Education Conference circuit, and another covers essential oils/raising kids/faith/etc, so I would be the only one that explicitly writes in “Christian” circles.
There are three reasons why I see this growing trend as a good thing in our churches:
1) It allows faith to intersect with passion. I pointed out that the other three bloggers in my Sunday School class are writing in different arenas than the “Christian” bubble. I think that is great. It is hard to write content for a blog. It’s slightly easier when it is something you genuinely love. I want them to write where they are passionate. I also know that they are allowing their faith to influence their worldview as they compose content. What a great combination.
2) It allows for people in the church other than the Pastor to have a “Platform”. The word platform has been a marketing and training buzzword for the last several years that has been used and even abused. For the sake of this post, I’m defining platform as a “means that you posess to get a message out and influence people”. If you want to dig into it more, Michael Hyatt has written extensively on this idea.
Even as few as ten years ago you would be hard pressed to vsit a local church in a rural community and find more than a couple people that had a “platform” other than the Senior Pastor. Sometimes there would be a school princpal, or a well loved businessman that had local influence. But now, with the advent of the web and social media making communication more global, you could easily have someone in a church that is a national conference speaker (our Sunday School Class has two). You could have a blogger that took to writing about something they love, and it took off and created a following. They may even have a much larger weekly “audience” than the Pastor. It is a shift in thinking, but for that Pastor to realize this fact, then proceed to equip and help disciple those people, will help magnify the reach of the Gospel.
3) It makes it more natural and acceptable to use todays available technology as a tool for furthering the Gospel. There are great tools available today that use technology as a vehicle for promoting the spread of the Gospel. Tools like the Bible App, or “Life in 6 Words“, use a smartphone/tablet and social media to share the message of Christ. If a congregant is already using social media and writing a blog, its a pretty easy step for adoption.
My question to you is this: What are you doing to discover and encourage the bloggers in your congregation?
What are they writing about?