At the conference last week in Indianapolis, Rex Miller gave a keynote address. Rex Miller is a "futurist" and the author of a book called The Millennium Matrix. In the book he explains how the major technology or medium of the day influenced life and the church.
According to Miller we have moved from oral transmission and the printing press, to the Internet. Those born before 1992 are considered "Digital Immigrants"; that is to say that those born after 1992 have existed entirely within a world influenced by the Internet. According to Rex Miller this new technology will cause a drastic change in society. Because of this, Miller suggests that businesses, organizations, the government and the church need to adjust the way things are done to ensure survivability and efficacy.
He explained that the current model for businesses and churches is "attractional" in nature. He describes the model as being and effort by churches (and organizations) to put on a bigger, better "show" to attract people to the building. This is in contrast to what he calls the "engagement model." The "engagement model" focuses on interaction and relationships. He points out that if society is indeed heading towards a more interactive and relational structure that investing in massive infrastructures that require weekly income is dangerous.
The four of us attending the conference discussed these ideas and decided that we could apply some of Miller's advice. Firstly, we all agreed that we are in a society where the "attractional" model is still viable and that CBC could be and should be doing a better job at it. Secondly, we agreed that we need to prepare for and develop programs that fit into the "engagement model." Thirdly, we reiterated that ultimately, no matter what you name things, people still have to love their neighbors.
Finally, here are some practical things that I think should happen:
-Regular meetings to discuss ministries, vision, effectiveness, brainstorm new things
-Website redesign, including incorporating current social networking technologies, increased communication
-Church-wide small groups