By now most of us who have been in ministry and church planting for some years, we have read all the playbooks on reinventing your church, we have learned from the best in the field. What they wrote is correct. These great thinkers have moved us to new ways of thinking about our church and improvements never imagined were gained.
Churches must weave the strategies into one seamless garment to survive and grow. What makes some church planting efforts successful quicker than others? The rate of change and the acceptance of evolution. The difference is nothing new. When we confront change, we get a pit in our stomach and dig our heels in deep. Fear of the unknown takes over.
The adoption of the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions are necessary for survival. I would argue that we need to develop a mindset that we must always follow a process of continual reinvention which becomes a process of on-going improvement and have the means to implement and support the operations. Change is adopted when we grab hold of the technologies of the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions. Think about how amazing all this is; It all started with the internet.
Churches need to become opportunistic as they evolve through the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions this requires dynamic and visionary leadership throughout the ranks. Pastors should expect the involvement of technology in the church strategy to be active.
For the first time since the dawn of the internet, technology infrastructure has become cost-effective and global. The technologies of the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions are the catalyst of change in our relationships with our congregations because of breakthroughs in some fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles. The Fifth evolution is drastically changing the world of DevOps.
We will see a new world of telecommunications, a world that becomes “FLAT” and all “communications” occur via the mobile Internet. Think of the implications for church planting when we realize every corner of the Earth (96.8 %) is covered by an Internet cellular signal 7X24. Your intranets will have to adapt to the new flexible standard architecture of the intranet so that churches can easily incorporate the latest technologies and be able to retain their congregations and expand their church planting efforts.
Church IT departments of the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions can no longer be static as they were in the 1980s and 1990s. I am amazed at how many churches and dioceses today have siloed IT departments, and their strategies are immobile and unable to accommodate a dynamic environment. Churches that choose to evolve through the next iterations of change will achieve rapid discipleship and church planting efforts.
Survival means getting your church planting strategies for the future when the present is evolving. If you do not see these technologies in your future, your church will have none. If you do not adopt the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions, you will severely handicap your discipleship, your congregations and your staff for any real chance of success. The technologies of the Fourth and Fifth industrial evolutions are “democratizing” access to your church.
Look around at your current strategies both in discipleship and technology, are you driving change in your organization? Are you a passenger in the back set hoping you arrive at your destination in one piece? Or are you that armadillo upside down on the side of the road?