Where are the men of Issachar these days?
1 Chronicles 12:32 said that these were the people who were responsible for both understanding the times and knowing what to do.
Today, like most days, I came across an interesting story several times in my social stream. A Church is suing a woman who has posted negative reviews on several review sites about the church as well as start a blog sharing her story of discontent with how that church has handled some issues. Now, I don’t know the whole story here and I leave it up to the courts to figure that out but I can comment on the perception that the public now has of this church and the woman.
Clearly the church in question, and the leaders of it, just don’t get it. We live in a completely different culture now that new media has become pervasive. The problem is that most church leaders think culture is the same PLUS we have new media and that is where we are failing right now not just at Beaverton Grace Bible Church; whose biggest offense might be the over use of papyrus.
We cannot go about communicating and connecting with people, both inside and outside our churches, the same way we did EVEN 5 years ago. We have turned the corner and new media has gone from being a thing that was simply a new tool to something that has forever changed our culture right down to our very core of how we empathize with our fellow man.
What this means on the ground for you as a leader in a church:
Think new media first
Don’t do your normal vision and strategy thing and then look to new media as a secondary tool or channel. New media must be a part of your thinking from moment one just like it is part of culture continually. Better yet, use new media in real time to work through your strategy it will make your church that much more transparent.
Transparency is everything in new media space, and that just may be the scariest thing to baby boomer leaders who are used to having tightly controlled channels of communication and an audience at the ready. Millenials need you to be transparent because they don’t trust leaders, and for good reason. This means the conversation must continually be two way.
If you truly have a vibrant community at your church and they are connected in new media sharing stories, then the positive should out weigh the negative. In a new media world there is always going to be a negative review, especially for a church, but you have to rise above that and celebrate the beautiful stories in a public way. If your organization is truly toxic there will be know hiding it, I can’t help you there.