Monday, June 9, 2008

Decentralizing Church

Today's technology-driven, viral world has made it easier and easier for businesses, people, and ideologies to become more decentralized in our generation.

Decentralized: No leader. Chaotic. No order. Creative. Not about profit. Quick. Easily mutates. Mobile. Think Napster, al Qaeda, AA...

Individuals are now able to work from their phones, play games on the road, have nearly constant internet access, and can stay in contact minute by minute with friends all over the globe. Life is mobile. As backwards as it seems, relationships can actually grow with technology with no face to face contact. The pendulum is swinging towards decentralization. What about the church?
  • As people become more decentralized, they will trend toward decentralized options over centralized options. (Church online or podcasts vs. the 10:00 service on Sunday morning)
  • We have options to experience some of the greatest speakers in the world every week at any time and any place. (There will need to be some strong reasons other than the pastor to keep me at your church)
  • This trend will distract many people to fall away from their faith, lose focus, and without the weekly structure in their life, ultimately will be distracted in life and simply be growing old. This is true.
  • This trend will cause ongoing growth throughout the week with multiple options for study, teaching, and connecting with mission all over the world. Faith in action will explode and more people will come to know Christ. This also is true.
  • Churches that are losing people will either deny this trend, blame culture, blame their local economy or census report, blame other churches or will press into understanding our changing world to find ways to re-connect with the people in their community.
  • God can handle centralized or decentralized. He is God. He's good. This has not surprised Him. He can handle our various methodologies, styles, trends and personalities.
  • No change in today's church model will lead to continued decline in church attendance in the upcoming decade. (Just because people aren't within the four walls doesn't mean that God isn't at work- He's always way ahead of any curve, on the curve, and helping those behind the curve)

What does that look like for your church and community? What questions are you asking? This is one takaway from The Starfish and the Spider.

1 comment:

jeremyscheller said...

I've got this on my book list...just haven't gotten to it yet. Sounds good.