Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Multichannel Church







“Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.” That old adage sums up the philosophy of Tom Ehrich, writer and consultant who pens the daily online devotional On a Journey. In a webinar today, Ehrich encouraged participants to think in terms of a “multichannel” church, one that ministers in more than one venue and does not confine itself to a Sunday morning presence in the lives of congregants.

Every church provides ministry on-site, primarily through Sunday morning worship and Bible study. Many churches are doing more off-site ministry ranging from home Bible studies and community ministries to satellite campuses. A third option that is only rarely practiced is personal exploration, an individualized delivery system that may well take advantage of online resources.

Two significant questions were asked during the webinar. One was, “What percent of your church’s resources are used for the Sunday morning services?” Most participants responded fifty to 75 percent. The other question was, “What percent of your church activities take place off-site?” Most reported ten percent or less.

Ehrich emphasizes that the church needs to adopt multiple delivery systems, not only on-site but off-site and online as well. Some members would welcome the opportunity to receive spiritual nurture at home or on the road during the week through online delivery. Those looking for a “church home” go to the church’s website before they decide where to visit. Many non-church members will not enter the doors of the church until their lives are intersected by believers in the community. We have too many options that we are not using to maximum effect.

Ehrich, an Episcopalian priest who works in the secular world as well as the ecclesiastical realm, challenges us to use all of the tools at our disposal to reach people. Read more at his web site http://www.churchwellness.com/.



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