Watching The Future of Faith
Not Mission Impossible
Carey Niewhof points out that changes in culture and lifestyle often prefigure the way people will live their faith in the future, and that studying the changes in how we consume entertainment today can lead to insights into how people will experience their faith tomorrow.Carey Niewhof's observations, and our takeaways: – Live, simultaneous viewing is waning. People will expect services to be available on their schedule (not the congregation's), and be drawn to congregation for the relationships they provide. – Watching is becoming personal, individual and portable. Congregants won't need to come to you to view a service and will want to view it in their own time and space. As a result the communal experience congregants seek will be more focused on shared mission and relationships. – There is a market for binge watching. Diving deep into your content will become more common, so developing consistency in message and mission and saving what you do more important. – Great stories are alive and valued. The successful proliferation of entertainment sources has shown that people are attracted to the way a great story is told, and that there is more than one great way to do it; congregations that tell their story in their voice will find their flock. Those that don't could have trouble. – People will pay for something they don't use, until one day they won't. We question the wisdom of paying for services we use only from time to time, but don't question spending our time or money on the causes we believe in or identify with. Congregations that can instill a sense of mission and purpose will do well. Read the full text of "5 Things Netflix Is Showing Church Leaders About the Future" on Carey Nieuwhof's blog.