Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Church as the Social Center of the Community - Part Two

In my previous post I discussed the importance of the church becoming the social center of the community. I want to elaborate on that idea further in this post. The process of becoming the social center of a community includes establishing and maintaining connections with both long-term and new residents. Unfortunately, many small churches never connect with those outside the church because they do not know how. Our society is increasingly technologically oriented. This means many people socialize and communicate more via electronic media than in person. To reach these people, churches must discover how to use Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, websites, and other technological opportunities to build relationships and promote events. These types of technological gateways are often the front door that the next generation comes through to discover the church. People no longer look in the phone book for information. They search the Internet. If churches do not have a website, they do not exist in the minds of most people.

Consequently, having a church website is no longer optional; it is a necessity. Starting a Facebook page for the church’s youth group or any other ministry is also important for the same reason. A church might consider collecting everyone’s cell phone number to send out text message announcements about church events. It is important for churches to embrace technology in every way possible. Though older generations tend to resist the use of technology as a means of communication because it seems impersonal, this is often the easiest and most eective way to connect with the younger generation. They do not view it as cold and impersonal at all. To them it is a natural form of communication.

Churches may continue to do many of the same activities and programs that they have always done, but it is important for them to promote those programs and activities through twenty-first-century technological methods. It is the way people with a postmodern worldview gather information and make decisions about what to put on their social calendar.

Inviting people to church events is a classic form of attractional evangelism. Using technology to reach out into the community in a way that is culturally relevant is a more missional approach to evangelism. This is one example of how attractional and missional approaches can be combined to reach a wider audience.

 Adapted from Terry Dorsett’s book, Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church, published by CrossBooks, a division of Lifeway Christian Resources.


  1. this was one of my favorite points of the book Terry, thanks for all that you do to help our Churches.

  2. Enjoying the book Terry