One of the most talked about demographics among church leaders today are millennials. (Not familiar with the term millennial? Here is a quick overview. Also check out this book from Thom Rainer.) As these 20 somethings move into church leadership over the next two decades, the way we do church is likely to change dramatically. We're already seeing some significant shifts as captured in books like The Next Christians and The Tangible Kingdom.
The rise of the smartphone is changing the way people are consuming content. In fact, most marketing futurists predict that organizations and causes will primarily interact with their support base via smartphones in the not so distant future. Today, only a few organizations are strategically incorporating mobile technology into their communications plan. This will not be optional in the future.
Churches should begin thinking about how they can deliver content via smartphones because millennials won't read your church bulletin. Even though the church bulletin may be the most efficient way a church can communicate with its members, it will continue to wane in effectiveness. Church leaders should be planning (and even experimenting) with delivering content in new ways.
Church Community Builder already gives people the ability to interact with our system via their smartphone. It's important that we build that technology into what we are doing today, so we are ready as churches begin to adapt to new ways of content delivery. Some interesting advantages to delivering information that might otherwise be in a bulletin is:
- The chance to offer a direct link to register for an event.
- Make a contribution online.
- Ask questions to the pastor about the sermon.
- Participate in surveys with immediate feedback.
No doubt, the future is interactive communications. Whatever steps we can move in that direction, the more prepared we will be as the expectation increases for churches to already "be there" in terms of functionality. This could be the most significant shift in church technology since the adoption of the church Web site.
How are you incorporating mobile technology into your church communications plan?