This is a Guest Post by Andy Coticchio. You can find him blogging over at The Narrow Road.
In the past few months I find myself being asked to step into leadership positions at my church and at a ministry I have been involved with.
As I now seek to fulfill these roles as a servant leader, I ask for your prayers in answering those calls; prayers that I be faithful to the Lord in doing what He has called me out to do.
I have followed ChurchCrunch for some time now [Editor: Thanks!] and what it points out to me (OK, it hits me over the head instead of pointing) is that I struggle to keep up with the technology available to us, the avenues of social media relationships that are growing exponentially, with how church is and can be done by a new generation.
I find the pace accelerating daily and I am only getting older on a daily basis.
It is amazing that the world around you seems to stay the same age while you move on; therefore it appears to you to get younger every day. Enough philosophy, onto the topic at hand, some practical advice to those dealing with ministry in light of how can do it in a ever changing technology based world.
My advice is not to those in leadership, but to those who are supporting leadership, and to those watching to see how their leaders will lead, waiting on the sidelines before jumping in to act or offer suggestions in how to do ministry in an ever new world.
Some things that I’ve realized that one shouldn’t assume:
- Leaders are ignoring technology because they do not believe it appropriate. More likely we are ignoring it because, well, we are ignorant of it. It is most likely that you understand and can manage the technical platforms and social media conventions better than anything we can do.
- Leaders are resistant to change. Some are (OK, quite a few are). But seek out your leadership to see if any of them are open to exploring new ways of doing life, of doing church, of meeting God on a new footing but with the same basic love, praise and worship that the faithful have always had for him. If you find that leader, you can be in for an incredibly exciting ride.
- Leaders are dumb or numb to what is going on in the world today. Many of us see the sea changes in generational thinking, in cultural trends. We are not happy about a lot of it, but we realize we need to reach a rising generation of leaders who will one day replace us in ways different than we were reached. It is that we often do not know how to approach the change to interact with it.
- Leaders do not want your help. We desperately need it and the smart ones crave it. I would love nothing more than to partner with a tech and social media savvy young leader to learn from and to impart wisdom to. Believe me, I would learn as much as I taught, if not more.
- Leaders want to turn back the clock to the good old days. Trust me, when we were living in them, they weren’t all that good. Better to move forward to an uncertain future than wallow in a past than cannot be restored.
But do not assume leaders will change just because it is something new, trendy and hot. They will stay grounded in biblical principles, they will adhere to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Leaders can learn, but they can teach as well.
Engage with your leaders and help them bridge the gap. They will be thrilled (if they have an ounce of intelligence). You will be blessed (if you are willing to learn in return).
God is sovereign and will protect His church without you help or mine if we fall down on the job. His will be done. But how much more rewarding and enriching, how much more fun to take part in it than to stand aside and let others answer the call.
How have you “bridged the gap?” Who do you know that does this well?