Digital Vs. Physical Gathering


Manage episode 275406735 series 1105654
By Garry Brackett: Executive Coach, Non-Profit Leadership Equipping , and Blogger, Garry Brackett: Executive Coach, and Non-Profit Leadership Equipping. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We are now into Week #32 of our COVID journey. Pause for just a minute to realize what has happened in 2020. Who would have thought we all would be facing the circumstances of what this pandemic has done to our national way of living. Yet, here we are traveling through new territory – masks, social distancing, quarantined, work from home, partial use of our church buildings. WOW! What a change of life-style.

The national data at week 32 is telling an interesting story and enforcing what was already true pre-covid. So here is the current snapshot. Regarding church gathering physically or digitally here are the numbers:

52% want physical gathering

9% want digital only church

35% want a hybrid – both physical and digital gathering for church

When you look at these numbers we are clearly divided, almost equally (52% – 44%) on physical versus digital church. These numbers would have been unheard of pre-covid.

Here is where the data information is even more compelling when you consider the Millennials and Gen-Z’s.

37% want physical gathering

13% want digital only

40% want both digital and physical options

This represents a 53% to 37% leaning more in the direction of digital over physical. However, it is not until you dive deeper in understanding the Millennials and Gen-Z’s that the real narrative emerges.

Digital Babylon represents the world these generations have been raised in and influenced greatly. Of those 18-29 years old that have had a certain level of exposure to church are broke out into 4 categories.

Prodigals (Ex-Christians) 22% – Do not currently identify as Christian even though they once did identify.

Nomads (Unchurched) 30% – Those who identify as Christian but have not attended church in the past month.

Habitual Churchgoers 38% – Those who describe themselves as Christian and have attended church at least once in the last month.

Resilient Disciples 10% – Identify as Christian, attend church at least once monthly and engage with their church other than attendance at services; firmly believe the bible; committed to Jesus personally and believe he arose from the dead; express a desire for society to come to faith in Christ. (Faith For Exiles – David Kinnaman/Mark Matlock)

Keep in mind these categories are those who were either raised or had close contact with the church in their formattable years. Here are some KEY TAKE AWAYS.

•The tension between digital versus physical gathering exists because the 18-29-year old’s want personal engagement over being counted as a number for church attendance.

•This generation represents 72.1 million – this is the greatest mission the church has ever seen. This generation is shifting the narrative from just content and its presentation to relational connection.

•There is a shift from information over-load to personal engagement – human to human. It is almost as if we are moving away from information everywhere and easy everywhere to knowing and being know as a human being.

•“Native Content” creation is the newest challenge. Live-streaming physical facility content will not reach this generation. Native Content represents a conversational presentation that allows for a dialogue over a monologue.

This challenge is what energizes me and gets me up in the morning. We can pivot faster and more radically now than anytime in church history.


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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!

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331 episodes