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In Part 1, we discussed some of the unique challenges faced by leaders in ministry. We also covered the great news that if you’re already staffed for in-person ministry, you have everything you need for Hybrid. Perhaps most importantly, we learned the importance of shifting from a location-based thinking to a mission-based mindset—from where to what. Now, let’s address another common concern.
That first part is true. People absolutely need relationships. God clearly created us to need one another. The body of Christ must be unified in order to fulfill our calling. But we have to stop thinking in terms of physical vs. digital. Digital expressions don’t have to replace in-person relationships—they can actually enhance them. In fact…
Your strongest relationships are already Hybrid.
What’s the strongest relationship in your life right now? Your spouse? Your best friend? One of your parents? A sibling? A child? And how do you communicate with that person? Face-to-face only? Or do you use an array of digital tools?
Most of us don’t enjoy the luxury of getting to spend all day every day with the person we’re most connected to. But we do interact with that person as frequently as we can, multiple times a day. We text, call, FaceTime, check each other’s social media, and comment on each other’s posts. Even when we can’t be together in person, we stay connected.
The same is true for your church community.
You might have missed this when we mentioned it earlier, but it’s critical that we understand it:
Technology doesn’t have to replace our face-to-face connections. It can actually enhance them.
Think about what each of these phrases mean to you: “the church,” “the body of Christ,” biblical community.” Now, keep these concepts in mind as you read the verse below.
…let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
What stood out to you in that passage? Many of us tend to think of church mainly as the “not giving up meeting together” part. But there’s so much more going on here.
We can do all of these in person—and also with digital tools.
Let’s say one of your church’s regular attenders comes to your building for about two hours on a given weekend. Every week contains 168 hours. That means you have that person’s attention for about one percent of their week. What happens during the other 99%?
Take an inventory with your team of what things you’re already doing that might also work in other contexts, outside your church’s four walls. Ask people in your church about what their daily routines are like. Start trying to imagine how you might repurpose resources you already have to help people grow spiritually within the context of their everyday lives.
Invest in building relationships, between attenders and the ministry, and with one another as members in the body of Christ.
Don’t act as if you were a ruler over those under your care. Instead, be examples to the flock.
We expect this topic of community will lead your team into some great clarifying conversations for your ministry. Next up, let’s talk about metrics and purpose, in Part 3.
YouVersion for Churches is developing tools and resources to help you lead and minister in an increasingly Hybrid world.