What Does Church Look Like Going Forward?

Have you ever thought about the internet like a city with neighbourhoods, each with its own language and culture? Think about Youtube, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.  Each space has its own social norms, popular hangouts and lingo.

Just like in a city, there are places people can be entertained, hang out with friends, search for love and even find God!

Your church’s online presence is part of its own digital neighbourhood.  People pass your online signage and decide if they want to walk in the door, spend a bit of time or bolt out the door as quickly as they came in.

Your church has the chance to shine a light within its digital neighbourhood and sit like a city on a hill as we see described in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden”

With an opportunity like this, you must ask yourself, “When we think about our churches and personal online accounts shining light into our digital neighbourhoods, what possibilities do you see?

How is my church intentionally shining a light into its digital neighbourhood?”

We want to hear from you. What are the things we should be thinking about? What are some of the questions we should we asking?

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Adventist Church Online Network

South Pacific Division

God is reaching people through digital media and it is very important to keep our online platforms an easy-to-find, welcoming place for those seekers looking for a church family to join. Be encouraged!

Esther-Shahn Pedersen, New Zealand

There is a lot of room for for Digital Discipleship, there has never been a [better] time and never more important.

Mika Samson is a content creator. He has a group where gets most of us have joined to understand how to effectively use social media platforms to grow our businesses. Some of us have quickly realized that the skill set can be utilized in any niche including the gospel commission. We can all agree here that the online space is indeed fast becoming the new norm.

The challenge the church now has is producing relatable content.

Hope Radio is doing well at the moment. We could use some of its content already or at least get them to help us make content usable across as many platforms as possible.

The next generation of church membership in our region are fast learners and are already using social media platforms very well. This group can be targeted including their parents. All we need is relatable content. There is so much power in Digital Discipleship if we use it well.

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Auldrin Bill

Papua New Guinea

The challenge is how to create relatable content for the youth.

Mika Samson, Papua New Guinea

How Do We Make Church Special for Children?

I am located in Queensland, Australia and our church has decided to open up our doors again on the 1st of August. We wanted to make it special for the children, but aren’t sure what that would look like. Even when the doors do open, we can’t yet have a normal church service as we still have to follow the regulations in place. So there will be no Sabbath school, etc. Just one big service, I believe. 

I am curious to know how other churches are deciding to welcome families back. Does anyone have any ideas? And even from a parents perspective, what would make you and your small children feel welcomed back ‘home’? Would would put a smile on their little face?

Bex Magele, Australia

Esther-Shahn Pedersen

Esther-Shahn Pedersen

New Zealand

A new family came to church today. They found videos online that answered their questions. During lockdown they joined another SDA church’s online service. I asked how they found our church, and they said Google recommended it as being closest to them. They’re not the first new person to find us through Google.

Craig Wilcox

Craig Wilcox

United States of America

We had our first sabbath back at church last week. No music, but we are quite small and lack much music talent. One nice thing was that it was very informal. Just welcome, devotional and prayer. I hope that’s the beginning of a new trend for us.

Carole Cholai

Carole Cholai

Papua New Guinea

Once we get people interested, how do we keep them hooked or seek further information – not only by telling them to go to a nearest church, but providing digital resources, or online group or sms /whatsapp group etc just to keep them connected until they are comfortable to go to a church.

God is reaching people through digital media and it is very important to keep our online platforms an easy-to-find, welcoming place for those seekers looking for a church family to join. Be encouraged!

Esther-Shahn Pedersen

AusTableTalk Discusses: Is the church still relevant post COVID-19?

Young people are online, on Facebook AND actually watching videos. What videos? Just scroll the comedy and lately those videos against violence against women. So its not really a question anymore if internet is expensive.

In my opinion, the church is not producing relatable content for its young people. At least it’s not getting the youth’s attention like all the other ones.

For evangelism to work, a big survey will need to be done first to find out what topics people want. Some we can easily guess.

For example, this page is getting an insane number of engagement because theres a need for this kind of advice for us young people.

https://www.facebook.com/GodlyDating101/

The challenge is how to create relatable content for the youth.

Expensive as internet is at the moment, it’s not stopping people from seeing the wrong content and (what I hate) Facebook algorithm likes it and propagates to more people.

I see it as this: There is a market, a space for sound biblical advice on subjects that young people are having issues with.

Currently, there’s nothing like that, at least from the corporate church to go this route.

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Mika Samson

Papua New Guinea

After the disruption of COVID-19, the lockdown and subsequent re-opening of New Zealand, Pastor Victor Kulakov said he was more convinced than ever of the need for churches to minister in the digital space. “Now, you’d have to convince me not to encourage churches to minister online,”

New Zealand Pacific Union Conference

Share your view on the future of church

How do you think church will evolve? Share your story of what you’ve done. Let us know your opinion.