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THE CHANGING CHURCH AND WHY EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY WILL BE ITS SAVING GRACE

When evaluating a new product, we not only spent hours upon hours putting the technology through the paces, but also invest our time into studying the needs of the marketplace.

Does the product we’re scrutinizing meet a need, and is the marketplace we would be presenting this product to in our wheelhouse?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the US, the team at LinkUp has spent a great deal of time evaluating an interactive video streaming product specifically for our House of Worship marketplace.
We’ve had conversations with pastors from small churches and large, as well as worship technology experts from coast to coast.

But mostly, we’ve read countless articles and blog entries penned by church leaders and influencers. They all speak of the confusion and uncertainty they’re experiencing. Since the lockdown, it’s no longer “business as usual”.

Remember the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” I read it years ago at the urging of a good friend. It’s a short parable of sorts about change by best-selling author, Dr. Spencer Johnson.

In the book, the cheese is a metaphor for what you want in life. But the cheese – which represents the things we desire – is often “moved”, whether we like it or not.

Change happens.

And no one understands that more than your church pastor.

Churches are in the middle of the massive shifts that have come over the past few months. I’m sure that navigating the uncertainty has been difficult.

The COVID-19 pandemic ramped up in early spring at a pace so rapid, it left church leadership scrambling to keep pace. In a matter of one week, churches who had never explored live streaming before were urgently embracing the technology. Gathering around our tablets replaced gathering to worship as a group.

Because of this unparalleled crisis currently being experienced in Houses of Worship worldwide, countless pastors and church leaders are searching for answers to questions that, before COVID, they’ve never even considered. And having so many decisions to make can be overwhelming – and, yes, scary.

Someone moved the cheese.

Now is the time to close the chapter of fear and uncertainty; move beyond those early, reactionary decisions and determine a successful strategy for moving forward.

However, that strategy must include acknowledging and embracing the idea that the church is entering a new era in community using technology.

Since the onset of COVID 19, church leadership has seen an amazing number of viewers tune into worship services online. Many UK churches are reporting their online presence has doubled during the pandemic. Personally, several of the US church leaders I’ve spoken to have seen their virtual church numbers quadruple during the same time period.

Commenting in a recent survey on how churches are emerging from the pandemic, one respondent noted, “We have found that getting people through the virtual church door to hear the Word is much easier than getting them through the physical church door.” 

Change is inevitable. The key? Anticipate it, adapt to it, and learn to embrace it.

Quite simply, those pastors and church leadership that are able to foster community and focus on reaching new people – while embracing technology to do so – will thrive in this new reality. 

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