Pastors Discuss Communication in a Digital Age
Below are notes from a discussion in a meeting of the Ministerial Alliance in Tallassee, Alabama. This discussion was held in March of 2011. The following notes represent a Summary of the Discussion and the Consensus of the Group
The problem is going to be, “How do we get the information to others?”
Most young people are using IPods and Smart Phones. Because the content is all in the cloud, and not in human hands, transmission depends on users taking the initiative and choosing to click on their selections. They can go where they want and get the audio/visual resources they want. But when it comes to offering content, “the drawbridges are up.” How do we get the gospel to people who are not looking for it? How can we attract people to download evangelistic audio to their IPods?
Automobiles are still made with CD players. Drive-time also represents peoples’ free time. This continues to represent an opportunity.
Do parents still use CD players with their little children to listen to stories as they fall asleep? Some do, some don’t.
One pastor stated that his son thinks like he texts—in bits and pieces. We live in a nation in which youth and young adults have a 140 character attention span. One pastor reported that one minister (Mark Driscoll?) has had good results having someone live text/tweet his sermon—and that youth are attending his services in good numbers. (The same pastor re-ported his son’s school is using IPads with the students doing homework at school and watching class instruction on their IPads at home.)
People are now bombarded with information and the information they want, they want it quick.
Many no longer follow linear thought. It also means we are missing deep conversations.
Using QR Codes
CD’s with information about where to find more in ITunes, etc.
The move away from reading and from linear thought increases the importance of relationships. Lost people will not likely follow a Christian’s tweets unless the Christian has achieved some level of fame or they have a personal relationship with the believer. This is also true about Facebook and blog posts.
For information to hold peoples’ attention and not be ignored, it will need to be presented with more more pictures and fewer words.
One pastor observed a movement to small relationships… a smaller circle… and even more personal than small groups / Sunday School.
Our goal should not be to help people to move away from reading. The Bible is a written book. Our goal should be to get people into the Word of God, to help them think – and to think biblically. One cannot tweet the whole Bible. Nor could one communicate the logical argument of Romans in 140 characters. Some unbelievers may not enjoy reading books, but growing Christians should.
One pastor reported his church having weekly Bible readings and that he preached on a passage within the reading. He shares that the congregation finds themselves reading more.