Hybrid Church - boaz Kohat 2023-05-09 10:52:04.0 / 281 Hits
I've been reading "Korean Church Trends 2023" in my spare time for the past two weeks, and it makes me think a lot. In particular, the fact that it was objectively researched and analyzed in the actual field by organizations such as the Pastoral Data Institute and Hope Friends Hunger Response adds to its credibility. How should our church prepare for the rapidly changing times? In the middle of the book, the following summarized text caught my eye and mind.
The discussion of the online church is growing. Since the early 2000s, several theologians have been discussing the "cyber church," "digital church," etc. COVID-19 has brought that discussion to the forefront of today's challenges. When the doors of church houses of worship were closed due to the pandemic, the reaction of the church community was twofold. One side argued that in-person services should be held no matter what, and the other side argued that services should be held online for quarantine and the safety of the congregation. Two years later, many churches are still using a combination of in-person and online services. Even after COVID-19, the willingness of church members to participate in online services is growing. The next generation, in particular, no longer sees in-person and online worship as an opposition or a matter of right and wrong.
If online is a needs-based space, offline is a wants-based space. People are looking for fun and efficiency online, and meaning and experience offline. In order to prepare for the coming era, churches need to transform into hybrid churches. A hybrid church is a church that is neither online nor offline. A hybrid church does not prioritize either online or offline presence. Hybrid ministries are very authentic and care for both online and offline with equal attention.
It's not a church model that will go away as a fad. As the convergence of virtuality and reality continues to accelerate, and the spheres of life explode, churches need to shift to a hybrid ministry that seamlessly connects online and offline.Based on the research on hybrid ministry, we need to develop a sustainable ministry model and make specific efforts to witness to the gospel through an organic "omnichannel" presence.
We are living in a generation that talks about 5G, AI, and the metaverse, and it is believed that the coming generation will have to face the same challenges as the Internet revolution and the smartphone market did in the past. I think it would be wise to proactively build a hybrid treatment and adjust it appropriately rather than following it.