GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & A chart showing what is happening every second on the Internet. #DataNeverSleeps2

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: If you ever wondered what the new communication tool is, then take a look at this chart depicting what happens every minute on the Internet. When I was growing up people used to use the phrase “… in a New York minute.” And they meant that this was not really a minute, but maybe only about 15 seconds because New Yorkers were known at that time for being impatient and quick to do, what they wanted to do.

But today an “Internet minute” reminds us that every minute people are communicating through dozens of different platforms or what we would call in communication theory: communication conduits.

Are you using these conduits to share the Good News?

Take a look at how much communication is going on in each and ask yourself, “Maybe we should be using some of these new conduits to share the Good News.

In an Internet Minute, Way Too Much is Happening All the Time

The numbers of internet searches, posts, messages, uploads, and dollars spent that take place every sixty seconds are utterly, ludicrously staggering.

By Eric Griffith, PC Magazine, 9/30/21.

…Here’s the full chart for 2021, including a look at the population of internet users in total, which is currently at 5.2 billion people.

For more, you can check out the last 8 yearsof Domo’s Data Never Sleeps charts

eREFORMATION & Newly Planted Church Uses Streaming to Grow From a Dozen Members to Over 1,000 in a year.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: One case study, which included the newly planted Redeemer Church in Madison, Georgia describes how this church grew in one year from only dozens of attendees to over 1,000 in attendance.

Will Live Streaming Cause My Church To Grow? A Case Study

by Duke Taber, CTS, 7/26/21.

CHURCH #1: THE “START-UP”

Redeemer Church in Madison, Georgia, is a congregation that was recently planted with a small group of believers just a few years ago. Their growth has been quite rapid and dramatic, and their Creative Arts Director Justin Kennedy credits live video streaming as one of the primary catalysts of their increase in size. Justin shared,

BoxCast [streaming] has taken our small church of 7 people in a driveway and helped it grow to one of the fastest-growing churches in the southeast with over 1,100 in attendance.

Justin Kennedy

What is it about streaming, specifically, that has helped Redeemer grow? Justin explains,

It has also made it easy for people to get a feel for what we are about and remove the fear of trying a new church.

Justin Kennedy

The concept of fear when it comes to visiting a new church is one that is quite common, yet it is rarely spoken about in theological journals and church staff meetings, in my experience. What’s exciting, however, is the thought that something like embedded video on a ministries website can help prospective visitors feel more comfortable about attending when compared to merely reading about a church online. The live video certainly is a powerful medium, and many churches who stream would likely agree with Justin’s conclusions about how streaming can foster growth in church assimilation efforts.

DIVING INTO REDEEMER’S STREAMING DATA

[Streaming] has helped us to grow from a few dozen to over 1,000 in just one year while expanding our viewership to over 17 countries.

John Darsey, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Madison

When speaking on the subject of church growth, it is important to always remember that church growth can be achieved in ways that differ from Sunday morning in-person worship attendance. Church growth can also be measured by the online reach that can span from neighboring cities to countries an ocean away.

Madison, Georgia has a population of just under 4,000 people. Since adding streaming, however, Redeemer has been able to grow the reach of their church outside of their little town to surrounding states and countries. In-depth viewer maps, such as the one pictured above, shows the wide geographical impact that a small town church plant can have in our world today through a tool such as streaming.

A FINAL WORD FROM REDEEMER

With one small device and five minutes of installation, your church can reach out literally across the globe. I cannot say enough about how BoxCast has blessed our church… BoxCast is the easiest thing we do!

John Darsey

Even if streaming could help your church grow, it should only be implemented if it makes sense financially and operationally. Redeemer’s testimony is helpful here, showing that though their church started with a small budget with a handful of folks in a driveway, investing in live video streaming was a worthwhile cost and time investment for them. If your ministry is of a similar size with similar growth goals, perhaps streaming is something that your congregation should thoughtfully consider.

Read more at … https://churchtechnologysuperstore.com/will-live-streaming-cause-my-church-to-grow-a-case-study

eREFORMATION & 25 Post-Pandemic Church Statistics You Need to Know for 2021 #ReachRightStudios #GrowingThePostPandemicChurch

Table of contents

Read more at … https://reachrightstudios.com/25-church-statistics-for-2021/#h-1-non-practicing-christians-are-on-the-rise

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & The meaning of life, death and the afterlife will increasingly be on people’s minds and must be addressed in church teachings. #eReformation. #GrowingThePostPandemicChurchBook

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., excerpted from Growing the Post-Pandemic Church, 8/9/20.

Eschatology, the study of one’s final destiny, will be of increasing interest as the world grows smaller and waves of illnesses travel the globe at increasing speeds. 

The problem:

In recent years the church shifted away from eschatology, to topics of how to live a better life here and now. And while that may be important, it is eternal questions that will begin to dominate people’s interest as catastrophes circle the globe. 

The solution:  

Start preparing now: churches need to be prepared with orthodoxy and in clarity to address the issues of life, death and the afterlife.  

Remember …

Jesus told us, “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. And so, it is with you. When you see all these things, you know he is at the door. Don’t take this lightly” (Mark 13:28-29, MSG).

Christ knew today’s catastrophes would happen. He is not surprised (John 16:30, Rev. 2:23). So, as knowledge of a fig tree tells an orchardist about the coming season, so too must Christian leaders discern the season we are in. It is time for church leaders to carefully adapt electronic tools, the way it once did the printing press, to better communicate the Good News.

Click to learn about the “9 other marks of the eReformation” in Growing the Post-Pandemic Church.

eReformation & Here is how an associate pastor is effectively ministering to a Boston congregation from her home, 3000 miles away in California.

By Paul Leighton, 11/18/20, The Salem News.

… The First Baptist Church in Beverly (MA) has hired a new minister from California. And it won’t have to pay her moving costs.

The Rev. Jaimie Crumley has been hired as a “virtual minister.” Since coming on board, she’s been preaching at online Sunday services and meeting with church members via Zoom without leaving her home in Inglewood, California.

“It is definitely unusual, especially living all the way across the country,” Crumley said. “It’s not like I run into people in the grocery store.”

Like many churches, the First Baptist Church has been holding services on-line during the pandemic. The Rev. Julie Flowers, one of the First Baptist’s two senior ministers, said virtual ministry is likely to continue in some form or another even after it is safe to resume in-person services. So when it came time to hire an associate minister, they decided to make it a full-time virtual position.

“It opened up possibilities that in-person ministry doesn’t,” Flowers said. “We posted it saying this candidate could live anywhere as long as they could work on the Eastern time zone. We got candidates from all over the country.”

Flowers said Crumley, 30, was a great candidate because of her “dexterity in the virtual space,” including experience with podcasting.

…Crumley grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and is now working on her PhD in the department of gender studies at UCLA. She’s a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Divinity School, where she was awarded the Mersick Prize for effective public address.

Crumley said she is trying to create as many “touchstones” as possible to get to know First Baptist Church members. She has chatted with people on Zoom coffee hours after Sunday services and hosted a virtual blessing of the animal services. She’s planning to do a weekly podcast based on the church’s theme for the year, “The Journey is Our Home.”

Read more at … https://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/virtual-minister-preaches-from-afar/article_f4dc3824-59a9-5513-9c38-28d8e2f4afc6.html

HUMOR & Young Person Is Clueless About How People Lived Before E-Mail, And His Texts With An Older Person Go Viral

by Mindaugas Balčiauskas and
Rokas Laurinavičius , BoredPanda, 10/7/20.

Kathy Torrence, 52, learned that her son, 21, is no different. Recently, he texted Kathy, asking, “How did any of college work before email?”

Read more at … https://www.boredpanda.com/college-life-before-internet-email-son-mom-exchange-kathy-torrence/

eREFORMATION & Tara Isabella Burton on 3 ways the Internet is reshaping how people congregate. “Growing the Post-pandemic Church” in paperback & Kindle on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Whitesel/ my #14thBook. #Post-PandemicChurchBook

Tara Isabella Burto; “There are three major elements that I would point to in looking at the way internet culture led to our modern religiously remixed culture. The first is the development of a kind of tribalization that transcended geographic limitations. The idea that you could seek out people who were like you, who thought like you, and share your desires and your goals, without those things being based in your geographic community. That fostered a different way of thinking about gathering and tribe based on affinity interest rather than on, perhaps one might say, a fixed point. Secondly, I think there’s the idea rooted in consumer capitalism that our choices define us. What we buy and what we consume can be indicative in how we build our personality. The internet has made this all the more possible, especially as various algorithms determine what news we see and what movies are suggested to us. The narrower an affinity base becomes, so too our approach to spirituality becomes something that should work for us and work for our choices, or so the prevailing cultural ethos goes. Thirdly and finally, I think the internet culture of user-generated content, where we are not just passive consumers but active creators—whether it’s making memes or posting on Twitter—has lent itself to a more participatory and polyphonic understanding of spiritual life. Again, there’s a hunger for ownership; we don’t want to passively consume a text but rather kind of write our own.”

From “The New Godless Religions: An Interview with Tara Isabella Burto, by Kenneth E. Frantz | September 22, 2020. More at … https://religionandpolitics.org/2020/09/22/the-new-godless-religions-an-interview-with-tara-isabella-burton/

More insights can be found in “Growing the Post-pandemic Church” in paperback & Kindle on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Whitesel/ my #14thBook. #Post-PandemicChurchBook

ONLINE CHURCH & Research finds mature Christians will return to in-person worship. Yet “seekers” are more likely to attend online worship. “Growing the Post-pandemic Church” in paperback & Kindle on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Whitesel/ my #14thBook. #Post-PandemicChurchBook.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Looking into this Pew research it is clear to me that while faithful parishioners will be back in-person once the pandemic is over, it is “the seekers” who are more likely to seek online worship. Therefore in the future a healthy church that reaches out to unchurched people must have a robust online ministry. This is why I call it the eReformation.

“Will the coronavirus permanently convert in-person worshippers to online streamers? They don’t think so” by Alan Cooperman, Pew Research, 8/17/20.

… most U.S. adults overall say that when the pandemic is over, they expect to go back to attending religious services in person as often as they did before the coronavirus outbreak.How we did this

Few expect pandemic to permanently alter their religious worship routines

To be sure, a substantial share of Americans (43%) say they didn’t attend religious services in person before the pandemic struck and they don’t plan to start going to a church or other house of worship when it’s all over. But 42% of U.S. adults say they plan to resume going to religious services about as often as they did before the outbreak, while 10% say they will go more often than they used to, and just 5% anticipate going less often.

Read more at … https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/08/17/will-the-coronavirus-permanently-convert-in-person-worshippers-to-online-streamers-they-dont-think-so/

#SundayChurchHacks – Continue to improve online worship after onsite worship returns. Some people may never be able to join you onsite (or choose not to).

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 5/2020.

We are entering “age of the eReformation,” an electronic re-formation of the way the Church shares the Good News.

Yet I have noticed that some churches regard online worship as a “stop-gap” measure required by a pandemic that prevents face-to-face encounter.  But, as I noted in a recent article titled, St. Paul’s guide to leading remotely, Paul faced similar challenges of guiding and discipling the far-flung churches he led.

So, use this time of forced online worship as an opportunity to begin to offer both onsite and online worship that is anointed, powerful and life-changing.

Read the entire article by clicking on this title below:

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 11.29.04 AM

For more ideas see another article I wrote for Biblical Leadership Magazine

eReformation: Leading post-pandemic church growth – 10 things to start doing now

#SundayChurchHacks – Record your live service & starting streaming it early Sunday morning. Don’t make online attendees wait around until it is convenient for you.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 5/2020.

Today we are entering the “age of the eReformation,” an electronic re-formation of the way the Church shares the Good News.

But many churches wait to live-stream their worship at the customary Sunday hour (10:30 or 11 AM).  This requires online attendees to wait around until you are ready to start.

But is holding it “live” with an audience always necessary? Aren’t you hoping that people who watch it later in the week will experience the same worship encounter and connection with the Holy Spirit as you did when you recorded it?

So, why not record and post your worship service early on Sunday morning (or even Saturday night) so more people can experience it when it is convenient for them?  More people may watch it this way.

The eReformation coming upon the Church means the Good News can be more accessible through electronic means, just as it did in 1500s when the printing press allowed people to read the Word any day of the week.

For more ideas see the article I wrote for Biblical Leadership Magazine

eReformation: Leading post-pandemic church growth – 10 things to start doing now

#SundayChurchHacks – Make streaming your worship easy by featuring the access link prominently on your webpage.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 5/2020.

Because we are entering the “age of the eReformation,” an electronic re-formation of the way the Church shares the Good News, access to your online worship should be easy and central.

Unfortunately, many churches still require several clicks or links to access their online worship streaming. In addition, churches often put the streaming link lower down on the page, rather than centrally located.

Because people are coming to your website because they are Internet savvy, put the link to streaming your Sunday service at the top and in a prominent place on your webpage.

Make access to your online worship service as easy as attending a live worship service.

For more ideas see the article I wrote for Biblical Leadership Magazine

eReformation: Leading post-pandemic church growth – 10 things to start doing now


Landing Page Example A (better) …

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 10.40.45 AM


Landing Page Example B (best):Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 10.42.45 AM