3 Things Every Church Planter Needs to Learn from Digital Church Planters
In 2019, Stadia started an initiative to learn about planting digital only churches. While it sounded a little “out there” at the time, once the pandemic hit, church planters everywhere were trying to figure out how reach people digitally. Two years later, digital is normal. Every church planter has a digital strategy. Stadia uses the term phygital now to describe church planters who have both a digital and physical strategy. So two years in, what are the lessons that phygital church planters can learn from their digital only pioneers?
1. Digital environments are the modern temple court.
Early followers of Jesus gathered daily in the temple court (Acts 2). The temple was a central part of social life. It’s where you gathered. Every culture has it’s gathering places. I remember as a kid hearing stories about my Grandpa. He was a mail carrier and after the day was over, he headed down to the pool hall to hang with his buddies. It’s where they gathered. Today, our culture gathers digitally. We spend more time gathered on digital platforms than any other place. Digital only church planters understand this and work to create community digitally meeting people where they are.
2. Empowerment of everyday Christians
Digital church planting is low cost. With the smartphone in your hand, you can plant a digital church. As a result, church planters are more easily able to equip everyday Christians to make disciples and even start more new churches. Digital church planters are seeing themselves as equippers first and leaders of worship services is secondary. We’d all do well to follow their lead and ensure we are building a system that empowers everyday followers of Jesus to make disciples and start churches. Note: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Church planters still need the character and calling necessary to start a church. Check out Stadia’s church planting assessment to learn more.
3. Flip the Classroom
Flipping the classroom simply means delivery content (teaching) on demand and leveraging the classroom time for discussion and targeted help with the teacher. Digital church planters are using this education theory by creating and curating on demand resources for discipleship. This makes it highly flexible and better fits into the busy lives of church members. Groups and 1:1 time then are used not for teaching but the life on life practical applications. More time is given relationship and less to group teaching. By curating content, digital church planters are spending less time creating their own and more time with people.
While digital only church planting is still relatively new, the learnings so far have been rich. There is a lot we can learn from innovative leaders trying something new. What have you learned from digital church planters? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Doug is a self proclaimed church planting junkie and has been involved with church planting most of his adult life. He helped plant LifePointe Christian Church in Charlotte, NC in 2004 and has served as a project manager since 2008. His passion is to help church planters accelerate their vision to reach the lost. In his spare time, Doug enjoys gardening, traveling, Illinois basketball and coaching his kids’ sports teams. His greatest supporter is his wife, Amanda. Together they live in Illinois, where they have two kids, Will and Kate.