It’s safe to say that we’ve come across one of the most challenging years we’ve had to handle, especially as church leaders and communicators. Coming through a year like 2020 comes a lot of expectation from us in this new year. We’re continuously innovating and coming up with ideas during the situation we’re all currently facing. But in 2021, we’re going to look back and realize there’s more in the future waiting for us! With all the recent changes we’ve experienced regarding the church, we wonder what this new year has in store for us? What kinds of new reality will arise? It will undoubtedly be another feeling for all of us. This post will share four (4) trends that will dominate the digital church in 2021.
Most Things are Virtual
Services, Sunday schools, gatherings, and other activities will have operations online in 2021. More and more functions will be done virtually, especially with the safety protocols that people must follow regarding the pandemic. The call for church media is also increasing since most churches’ interactions happen online. Our church staff regularly shares photos, videos, live streams, and other online content to engage with our congregations and followers during this time consistently.
All these demands could be overwhelming, but luckily, there are many technological advancements to utilize in our operations. Above everything else, we must not forget to handle our physical services. We still have to remind ourselves that our digital church strategies should complement our in-person strategies.
Interactive Online Services
2021 could be the time we commonly see and experience interactive online services among churches. Life Church and the Bible App established the start of digital participation in the church. These worship services are new and are still improving, but it will attract younger generations into churches like never before.
This year, we could see more stimulating engagements that go beyond the current platforms that we use. Members will participate during the actual message with live surveys and questionnaires—just like members raising hands when the preachers ask in a traditional service. This will involve attendees, both in-person and online. Answers could be displayed on-screen in real-time, and the results could be incorporated in the preaching and help fuel the point of the message.
Generation Gaps are More Evident
With everything leaning more towards the use of technology, differences between generations are more discernible. One of the most common instances that will happen in 2021 is the impact of these generational differences. The older generations will prefer to attend in-person services, while younger generations will dominate virtual services.
Growing churches are also likely to be led by younger leaders since most things are going virtual. Most churches are being led by people younger than 50. More than everybody else, young leaders recognize where the trends are going, which is essential with reaching out to our congregations and even with the unchurched. Of course, times are changing. Things are shifting, and innovation for the next generation naturally comes from the next generation themselves.
Connecting Rather than Gathering
Traditionally, the church has spent most of its time gathering people in their buildings. But our main goal for 2021 is to connect and not just to assemble people physically. With almost everything done online, we’ve gone beyond the physical experience; we don’t rely on our buildings being filled with people anymore. Thus, our mission is focused on connecting with people from a distance, even from hundreds of miles away.
For all church leaders and communicators, connecting with individuals who interact from their homes’ comforts will become an essential skill. This entire situation may be a new thing for us, but we can also look at it as a unique opportunity to widen our community and extend our church to the world.
These are only a few samples of digital church trends that will emerge in the 2021 post-pandemic world we are facing right now. 2021 will be more focused on innovation, building a better and more suitable system for the current world we are living in.