“Technology is not the hard part,” said Dr. David Bourgeois in a recent interview on ReformedCast. “People and processes are the hard part.”
Dr. Bourgeois is Associate Professor of Information Systems at BIOLA University and author of a forthcoming book entitled Ministry in the Digital Age: Strategies and Best Practices for a Post-Website World.
In his interview with ReformedCast, Dr. Bourgeois summarized his 144-page book. Ministry in the Digital Age, he said, grew out of his professional experience and academic training in information systems, and his deep love for the Church. This episode of ReformedCast should be required listening for every church leader who cares about the flourishing and outreach of his local church or ministry.
One of Dr. Bourgeois’ disruptive insights is that the Internet is now “post-website world.” It is important for us as church website developers and church leaders to understand that people are not so much “surfing the web” as accessing “digital streams of information.” These “digital streams of information” include Facebook, email, YouTube, Google Search, text messages, and Twitter.
As creatures of habit, our experience of the web is largely focused on our “digital information streams” of choice. Some people prefer email, Google Search, and Twitter. Other people prefer Facebook and text messaging.
The point is that you must understand your target audience. You must know the information streams your people prefer to use. Do they prefer Facebook? Do they prefer email? Do they prefer Twitter? You will have to do some research to answer this question definitively. And the answers may surprise you.
Understanding the communication and media consumption habits of your target audience is a key part of developing an effective communications strategy. The better you understand your target audience, the better you will be able to put in place the technology, people, and processes to open lines of communication with them.
These are the kinds of issues and questions we are always exploring here at Five More Talents. Technology changes. But the need for effective communication remains constant. Our goal is to equip you for effective ministry in our connected age. The needs and the opportunities are tremendous.