Frank McPherson Thinks Churches Need To “Shift,” Too

Frank McPherson Thinks Churches Need To “Shift,” Too.

“Today I had a good conversation with Matt and his wife, Kim, about the unique perspective that Gen-Xers have on church. In particular, Gen-Xers expect far more use of computers and electronic communications such as e-mail, instant messaging, and yes, even PowerPoint.

One of the things that Matt said that really stood out is that he and his wife checked to see whether our church had a web site, and if it didn't that would have told them a lot about our church. The lack of a web site might have caused them to not come to our church.

I think that for anyone associated with Christian churches today, Matt's comment has got to make you think about how you are reaching out and communicating with today's generation.

The conversation inspired many thoughts. One would be, wouldn't it be cool if churches provided mail servers, message forums, online chats, and web server space for weblogs tools to extend their community into cyberspace? When a person joined the church they would be given an email address. They would be provided the webloging tools to contribute to the community by providing their own content. Not many churches have the ability to provide all this themselves, but it wouldn't take much for technology providers to provide this type of service. Take for example Yahoo, which provides mail, forums, and web server space.

Another thought I had would be to set up the entire church with a wireless LAN. When I say entire church I mean even the sanctuary. Then I would set up an internal web server (effectively building an intranet within the church) and put as much information on that server as I could. You could simply store PowerPoint files on that server to retrieve and view from anywhere, but a church really doesn't need PowerPoint for the types of things it would use. Here again simple weblogging or HTML generation tools would suffice to do things like project words to a song up on a wall. (Of course, you would need the projection hardware to do that too.) Video can be played using many different free tools.

Actually, projection might even be too old today. With a wireless LAN worshipers could access the words to songs, scripture readings, sermon notes, etc.. directly on their PDAs. This could also be an nice application for Mira and Tablet PCs….

The label doens't matter, but the spirit does. The point is that churches today have got to start using technology as a means to reach out to their membership and communicate with them in ways that make sense to the membership.” [Notes From The Cave]

[The Shifted Librarian]

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