2020 Is The Beginning of The Future

4 Things Ministry Leaders Need To Do Now!

Originally published December 2019 Edited in April 2020

2020 is the beginning of an all-digital, artificial intelligence, cloud-based age. It’s an emerging trend that will change everything. Here’s a tip, ministry will not be immune from this trend. It’s a trend that will force many leaders out. More than ever, the ability to adapt and change to fit these new dynamics is crucial.

Trends Matter

They are ongoing and have been around since the beginning of time in both the secular and faith worlds. Trends can last for decades. Amazingly, emerging trends have also been the “Achilles hill” of 90 percent of Christian ministry. Not because trends are good or bad, but because, ministry leaders simply ignore them, overlook them, or don’t know how to respond to them.

When ministry leaders miss new emerging trends they become irrelevant.

  • The early Catholic “church” ignored the emergence of print reproduction and Gutenburg’s invention of the printing press. By the time they realized what was happening, Gutenburg’s collaboration with Martin Luther’s reformation had already grabbed a foothold on the culture of that time.

The current technologies make these changes unavoidable for both industry as well as ministry. The good news is younger leaders understand this.

Petr Cincala and Renee Drum suggest that younger clergy and other ministry leaders (under 50 ) appear to be driving the largest share of ministry and ‘church’ growth in the US.

“The older you get, the less likely you are to innovate. And innovation drives growth and connection with emerging generations.” Carey Nieuwhof

In this, all-digital, artificial intelligence decade here’s some insight on what ministry leaders should do now.

  1. Digital Ministry. In this era of the internet, social media, videos, blogs and podcasting, the gospel can travel further and faster than ever before. There hasn’t been a culture-shifting communication tool this powerful since the printing press. This digital revolution, is the most effective “Roman Roads” and “Reformation” of our day. It is estimated that 95 percent of non-believers are online. Not only are most people online, but most people are also engaging in social networking. Did you know that in third world countries, people may not have TV’s but they own smartphones? Every age group, from kindergartners to retirees, is digitally connected. This digital age is even changing the way the “church” meets. Len Wilson defines digital ministry as, “A willingness to innovate in service of Christ. To act, like Joshua and Caleb, as scouts on the hill, fingers pointed into the future, shouting back to God’s people that the way forward is clear.”

The days of thinking that you can reach the world with the gospel with only a building are gone. Your digital platforms can reach far more souls beyond your building.

I write about Christian ministry sharing fresh insight and game changing strategies to help you reach your ministry goals. Follow on instagram.com/_flanderson

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