We find ourselves in a new culture that speaks a different language, defines traditional terms in ways we never thought possible, and is more connected yet disconnected than ever before.
Without the benefit of moving to a new country, we as individuals have awakened in a digital culture defined by mobile, social, and bandwidth connectivity. The challenge is that the Church has been slow to wake up to the fact that we are in the middle of a seismic culture shift not seen since the early years of the Gutenberg Press. The result has been the impression that the church is irrelevant and disconnected from culture.
Jesus called His people to be the Ekklesia in the world. The exciting thing about this new culture in which we find ourselves is the Ekklesia can BE the Ekklesia today more than any time in history.
This means, however, that we need to develop a strategy for doing ministry in our new Digital, Social, Mobile, Bandwidth intensive culture. McKinsey&Company has developed an assessment of how a business’s digital maturity and capabilities drive financial performance. They refer to this as the Digital Quotient (DQ™).
The DQ™ assesses four major outcomes proven to drive digital performance:
- Strategy—the vision, goals, and strategic tenets that are in place to meet short-term, mid-term, and long-term digital-business aspirations
- Culture—the mind-sets and behaviors critical to capture digital opportunities
- Organization—the structure, processes, and talent supporting the execution of the digital strategy
- Capabilities—the systems, tools, digital skills, and technology in place to achieve strategic digital goals
So what does this have to do with the church?
While the DQ™ may have been developed with business in mind, it gets to the core of today’s culture. We, the Church, need to seriously evaluate how we do ministry while maintaining the integrity of the Message.
How is your church doing in each of these areas?
Does your church have a digital ministry vision and strategy? If so, does it align with the vision and strategy of your church?
Does the culture of your church foster and encourage the use of the digital tools available to achieve the mission of the church? Are staff and leaders mindful of opportunities for digital ministry? Are you looking for innovative ways to use digital means to reach the lost and make disciples?
Is your church adding volunteers and staff in key positions to lead in using digital tools for ministry? Are key ministry workflows optimized by digital tools? Do you think digital first in marketing and communications?
Has your church invested in digital tools and training for leaders, volunteers, and staff to effectively minister in our digital age?
The goal of leveraging digital tools is not to move the focus from God to technology. Nor is it to put the digital before people. We live in a digital world where people are impacted in all they do by some form of digital influence. We need to learn the language of our new culture and use these tools to open doors, make more time for building relationships, communicate effectively, train and empower Christians for daily living and greater influence to be the Ekklasia like never before.
Take some time alone to look at the four DQ™ outcomes. How is your church doing in these areas? Celebrate what you are doing well. Where is there room for improvement? Outline a plan for the next 90 days to improve in these areas. At the end of 90 days, repeat this evaluation and make any needed adjustments.