The Internet is the greatest communications tool ever invented by humans. It is the most rapidly adopted communication technology of all time, available to over two billion people at the time of this writing.
Social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube are growing at a fast pace, with Facebook garnering over 1 billion user accounts in seven years and YouTube now receiving 800 million unique users watching over four billion hours of video every month.
You see, we are now living in a post-website world. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but sometime in the past few years, there has been a move away from the organizational website as the primary way that people will interact with organizations. The massive popularity of social networking and the rise in mobile phone usage have changed the game. The key to understanding this is simple: the primary use of digital tools is now relational, not informational.
When beginning to develop a strategy for your ministry’s use of digital tools, you may naturally think about technology first. But this is backwards! If your ministry truly wants to develop a strategy for the use of digital tools, then technology is not the first or even primary concern.
To put it bluntly: technology is not the hard part.
If it is true, as Shane Hipps says, that Christianity is fundamentally a communication event, then it is imperative that Christians understand how to use the Internet well.
My new book, Ministry in the Digital Age: Strategies and Practices for a Post-Website World, my objective is not to convince you that the Internet or social media is important or that your ministry should use it. I am assuming that, if you have picked up this book, you already believe this to be true. I have written this book for one purpose: to provide churches and ministries with the guidance they need to successfully embrace and use digital technologies as a means to fulfill their mission.
What challenges are you facing with your digital ministry?
Dr. David T. Bourgeois, is the Director of Innovation and Associate Professor of Information Systems for the Crowell School of Business at Biola University. David is also subject matter expert and faculty for the CLA Online Learning Academy in the area of Internet and Technology. If you want to go deeper into this conversation on technology, then consider joining David and other thought leaders at the Biola.Digital Conference on June 4 – 6, 2013.
Be sure to check out David’s new book, Ministry in the Digital Age: Strategies and Practices for a Post-website World, in the CLA Bookstore!