I enjoy reading blog posts from people outside my core discipline. It exposes me to new ideas and helps me see things I may not have noticed before. One post that made a particular impression on me was No direct relationships = No future.
The author is talking about the impact social media is having on how nonprofits engage with community members and its donors. The shift is profound. Without a doubt, some will not make the transition. But those who do stand to gain a lot from a new way of thinking.
Gone are the days where broadcast media is the preferred channel for community engagement. “One to many” isn’t working anymore. In the new world, “one to one” is most effective way to build momentum, enlist volunteers, and create change. The trouble is that organizations are designed as a series of systems which are reproducible, efficient, and measurable. When you start talking about measuring human interaction, it is anything but reproducible, efficient, and measurable.
For churches, the primary channels of communication have been the weekend Worship service and the church bulletin. But can we continue to depend on everyone being in the same place at the same time every week? No. Of course not.
In order to make that shift, we’re going to have to rethink the systems and processes currently in place. It’s not impossible, but it will take some time, energy, trial and error, and constant monitoring in order to reposition your church from merely building awareness to engaging others in meaningful ways that result in commitment, identity, and action.
Do you have the tools in place right now to make the “many to one” transition?