The Digital Tools You Need To Build A Strong Community
Have you ever thought about how the pyramids were built? They were built purely by human hands. No modern tools in sight. Evidence shows that it was the enslaved Israelites, who were tasked with making and laying bricks for these massive structures. Without the modern technology we have today, research estimates that it could have taken between 10-20 years to complete The Great Pyramids. But, using the more powerful tools that we have now, it’s estimated that it would only take about three years to build these magnificent wonders of the world.
The craftsmen, slaves, and laborers of Egyptian times would have jumped at the chance to use the construction equipment, electric tools, or machinery that can move mountains of sand in minutes, as opposed to days.
When there is a tool out there that you can utilize to make you and your team’s job easier, without sacrificing on quality, you go for it.
Even though these tools would have taken some training, new ways of doing things only seem odd and foreign to people until it’s, well, not. Once people have integrated something new into their routine or into society as whole, it’s not new anymore.
In 2017, the church has a unique opportunity to capitalize on, grow, and build digital technology that creates connection, community, and fosters an atmosphere of generosity.. At this point, it’s almost expected by the average church-goer that a church has some form of digital communication that they use to foster community. Apps, social media and a mobile responsive website were things that massive companies like Disney, and Coca Cola use, but not the local church. Now, it’s safe to say, digital connection and community are almost as important to a church’s culture as a face-to-face meeting on Sunday morning.
In a recent interview, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared his thoughts about the evolving nature of his social media platform. Recently, Facebook changed their mission from “to make the world more open and connected” to “bring the world closer together.” It might seem like these two mission statements are basically saying the same thing, but the fact is, it’s the path taken to achieve this mission that really hones in on their specific differences. And this all comes back to apply to the church.
Along with Zuckerberg’s change of mission, he also discussed the importance of equipping his nearly 2 billion users to create the worldwide closeness he desires. The global village that Facebook fosters is seeing upgraded tools in groups, messaging, events, etc. all to bring people closer together. According to Zuckerberg, if we bring people around the world closer together in a digital space, that will create action and change in our physical world, which will create a better place to live for everyone.
Zuckerberg isn’t wrong. And he specifically calls out churches/faith communities as the ones who can champion these digital groups and vehicles of communication for good.
In the digital sphere, a church’s reach goes further than they think. For example, we’ve seen through church app usage data that a church with 500 attendees has about 1200-1500 unique downloads on their church app. Even though that attendance isn’t necessarily reflected in the pews, people are craving the unique message and hope of Jesus the church offers and are willing to connect to that digitally.
The Tools For The Job
We are making strides in fostering lasting and compelling connections, working proactively to manage those connections beyond just an app download is what will make the church successful in a digital age.
No matter how you use the tools in your app to engage your church, know that with the digital age upon us, it’s time to embrace these tools to reach larger audiences than we’ve ever been able to reach before as a church.