Does your church have WiFi?
If you’re a regular ChurchMag reader, I’d hazard a guess that it does. Here’s a question you’re less likely to answer “yes” to:
Is your church open for public use of the WiFi?
Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Andrew Lloyd Webber who gave us The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and so on and so forth, said in an interview with the Daily Mail a few weeks ago and said that he wanted every church (in England) to have WiFi. The operatic feline aficionado went on to say:
“Once you do that, the church becomes the centre of the community again. They should go back to the medieval tradition, which is that the nave of the church is always used for local business.”
The Church as the Center
It’s an intriguing idea, isn’t? What if the Church—your church—was the center of your community? In business. In social interaction. In community development.
Let’s not rush past this with a “That’d be cool.” This is an idea that deserves a pause.
Okay, now, let’s talk. So many churches and so many pastors are constantly asking the question, “How do we get people into the church?” Well, if you ask me, this might a good idea.
My community is relatively small. We have a population of about 9,000. The nearest coffee house—not “coffee shop”—is a town away. So what if my church jazzed up our foyer, put on a pot or two or three of coffee, set out a tip bowl, and opened up our building for all who would come? What if your church did something like that? What if every small-town church made full use of their facility (and their WiFi) by providing their community with some common space?
I feel like I’m constantly reading articles wherein people bemoan the changing social dynamic in the Western Hemisphere that has seen social interaction transition from face-to-face to font-to-font. Wouldn’t this be a great way to fight this trend?
I spent the weekend with a bunch of pastors and church leaders strategizing and dreaming about the next year, and the common theme that kept resurfacing was this: we need to engage people. It’s ideas like this—crazy, untested, and potentially disastrous—that could reshape the way the church interacts with your community and how your community views your church.
So let me ask you again: