In many ways, slow-moving religion has been swamped by fast-moving technology.
But when religions are unable to adapt quickly enough to new ways of communicating, for instance, they get left behind and become just tiny voices crying in a wilderness long abandoned by the people religion wants to reach.
Churches, for instance, that still rely primarily on a printed monthly newsletter have no hope of saying much that's either timely or useful to members or to people who may be candidates for membership. This is especially true in a culture in which e-mail now is so 20th Century.
But it's not just new, faster technology that faith communities often are slow to adopt, it's also leadership styles.
This thoughtful piece distributed by the Alban Institute makes the point well.
While the Internet has moved from Web 1.0 to 2.0 and now 3.0, writes Lutheran pastor and writer Susan Lang, faith communities often still are stuck with Leadership 1.0, which "is based on structure, expertise, and authority."
And just as "Web 2.0 is all about developing and nurturing relationships. . .that is where Leadership 2.0 needs to start, too."
The not-so-secret secret, however, is that hierarchical forms of leadership often are found in faith communities that pride themselves on not being hierarchical. You don't, after all, need a pope and bishops to behave in hierarchical ways. Indeed, here and there you can find examples of structurally hierarchical religious communities that encourage and respect lay leadership even more than communities with more democratic polities.
Well, the piece to which I've linked you has some helpful guidance for how faith communities can develop leadership that can be more in tune with our post-modern ways of living. I invite you to have a look and think about whether your congregation, denomination or religion is stuck in Leadership 1.0 mode or is, in fact, moving beyond that to something more collaborative.
If it's not, eventually you may be moving to Congregation (Denomination or Religion) 0.0.
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THE CARETAKERS AFTER DEATH
Ever wonder why someone would want to be so close to the subject of death as to choose to be a funeral director? Here are 10 reasons. Good thoughts.
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P.S.: Do you have my new book yet? Read about it here.