Churches and ministry organizations are looking for ways to reach more people with their messages. Their way of doing this is to come up with more programs, events and “shows” that they think will attract people and get them into their halls and sanctuaries.
This approach has ended up in frustration and disappointment because it requires a great amount of time, money and effort to put on these performances. The result of these methods often mean that the move towards growth, transformation and discipleship is slow, or totally absent and after all the hard work and money spent, the membership ends up in confusion and leave because people get tired and discouraged and they’re not seeing the desired outcomes.
In our world today, communication methods have evolved and the way we reach people has changed greatly. We live in a digital world we must make digital transformation a priority in our outreach efforts. Most of the world is tuned in to a different frequency and while we may have good things to say and great messages to share, they are not hearing because we are not reaching them.
The need for digitization in ministry is great but although there are a wealth of opportunities, there are a number of challenges. Our message, methods and motives must be in alignment and we must seek to match our goals with our purpose.
Digital transformation requires a serious shift in our thinking and behavior, and it must
be a unified effort across the organization. Although we have digital tools, equipment and knowledge, there must be a change in our outreach, and we must ask the Lord of the harvest to give us wisdom and guidance in our approach in the harvest field.
We must involve as many of our people as we can in the planning and execution of our outreach campaigns. Digital transformation is such a huge responsibility and organizations will be overwhelmed without clear direction.
There is also a problem when technology is held up as the end-all be-all solution for an organization’s mission. It can create a divide between older members who are accustomed to the old, set way of doing things and the younger members who want to see change. Frustration will then build, and we will have the same problems all over, just in a different form.
Digital transformation must focus on the improvement of our outreach strategy and take into consideration the people you have, what they can do, where their strengths lie, how they spend their time, and what they can create.
Also consider whether your organization has the resources to support your digital transformation initiatives. Adding these projects to the responsibilities of members with heavy workloads can contribute to stress, burnout, and discouragement. Before launching any initiatives, make sure priorities are clear and resources are in place.
Roy Benjamin is the Digital Outreach Director for Community Outreach Systems.