Deep Interest Networks Are The Future Of Digital Church

When I am asked how I see Digital Church working in reality, I have often said that it will be a fusion of online dating, Facebook and YouTube.

Most people get my comments on Facebook and YouTube, but I do get some odd looks when I mention online dating.

I will try to explain.

Dale Carnegie was famous for many things, but one of his most famous quotes is, “People like people like themselves”. Simple enough in principle, this point is indeed the foundational theory for most online data algorithms.

The theory is, if you find people with similar interests or backgrounds, they are most likely to get on.

In the most part I agree, and it is the matching of people and interests that has intrigued me as I look to the future of the Church. I have often found myself asking, “What would happen if we could build a community of Christians centred around common interests?”

Two things should of course jump out to you at this point:

  1. As Christians, we should ALL have a common interest
  2. Should we not stretch ourselves, rather than finding people who are just like ourselves?

Let me comment on these one by one.

As Christians we should ALL have a common interest

This is completely true…but which one is the common interest?

Is it Christ? Or Church, or Worship, Evangelism, Teaching, Healing, Apologetics, Leadership etc… The point is there are too many common interests to clearly identify just one

Shouldn’t we stretch ourselves?

Again, complety true. For us to develop, we need to stretch ourselves and come out of our comfort zones. The problem is that we hardly ever do.

As an introvert, I don’t do well in busy environments. I am constantly told by people that I need to stretch myself and get stuck in. They are right, however those same people won’t stretch themselves by going on a quiet retreat where there is nothing but silence for two days (my idea of heaven).

In church today, people are already segmenting themselves based on theology, worship style, preaching style, location, building type, kids ministry etc etc.

Whether we like it or not, we are selective in what we do and where we do it.

Going Deep

Now this is where I see Digital Church as a significant resource.

Using technology, we are able to pair up people and create communities that have extreme clarity and purpose that is based on their interests and preferences.

The really exciting thing is that this technology already exists and is called Deep Interest Social Networks, or Deep Interest for short.

It is really simple in theory, but turns the current world of social media on its head as the focus is on interests rather than news, which if you think about it, is a much more natural way of how we operate as humans.

We are focused on our interests first.

Deep Interest is going to be transformational in social networking, and the Church would be wise to look at how they can build on this now, rather than waiting for the next 5 years doing nothing, like we do whenever a new technology comes out.

Deep Interest has the potential to transform superficial content (you know the sort of dross that gets shared currently) to great stories and experiences. It can shift us from aimless connections (how many people do you really know on Facebook?) to meaningful conversations and advocacy that can generate a massive shift in our ability to build community.

I am currently beta testing Deep Interest for this site and would love to have some help in defining how it looks and feels, so if you are interested in getting involved, please drop me a line and I can send you an invite to the beta platform.

Would love your input!