The way our culture consumes information has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, but many churches haven’t made the necessary changes to reach that culture.
We used to live in a world where we would gather information from centralized sources. I have fond memories of sitting in the living room with my father as a kid, watching Walter Cronkite share the news about what was happening in our world. Walter was considered the most trusted man in the world at the peak of his career. Today, we get our information from whatever sources we want. The Internet has decentralized news reporting with tools like Twitter. The nightly news is no longer the sole gatekeeper of important information or the source people trust the most.
Unfortunately, many churches still operate like it’s 1970. Many local churches still operate in a centralized fashion with all the information residing in the hands of a privileged few. They only share information with people who 'need to know'.
Whether it’s key volunteers or major donors, the ministry is run by the same privileged few. Centralized churches delegate responsibilities to those they trust, and only those they trust. As a result, overall ministry effectiveness is muted and potential leaders left on the sidelines.
Why churches should embrace decentralized systems as a way to be more effective
Instead of relying on the same volunteers or donors time and time again, churches should embrace the decentralized shift our culture has made.
- Decentralized churches allow more people to live out the calling of the ministry. They believe that everyone has a role reaching their community with the Gospel. They care about helping church members find their place within the ministry. They don’t just share information with a select few, they look to get everyone involved. The workload is shared and the impact is larger.
- Decentralized churches empower people to fulfill the vision. These churches not only empower them with a sense of belonging, they also work to help every member 'be the ministry'. Decentralized churches believe that equipping and training their members as well as providing them with effective tools are necessary for overall ministry success.
We live in a decentralized world. The local church must decentralize in order to meet the world where it is. If we want to reach our community, we must help every church member understand that they are a vital part. We must also equip them to become the ministry. This is what creates the multiplying effect of discipleship within our community.
What is your church doing to decentralize its ministry strategy? How do you equip everyone to play a role in reaching your community?