For many church leaders in today’s increasingly secularized culture, modernizing an approach to church policies while retaining our core values is essential. In other words, how we relate to the public as it stands will determine how successful our efforts to bring Christ’s teachings to our fellow human beings will be. Here are just a few important ways to modernize your church and be successful in the process.
Gain an Understanding of Social Media
When used correctly, social media can be a powerful outreach tool. Indeed, many great churches and church leaders maintain a presence on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Of course, the social media sphere thrives on drama; as you might imagine, getting sucked into contentious arguments online is no way to run an effective social media campaign.
Instead, churches should strive to maintain a reasonable and polite presence on the internet. Social media accounts should help keep your followers informed about your church; however, your church’s social media accounts shouldn’t try to be too flashy. People look to churches for spiritual guidance; they aren’t looking for entertainment. Leave that to the pop stars and A-list actors!
Don’t Pander to Popular Tastes
Unfortunately, many churches nowadays are hiring expensive public relations and advertising firms to reach a broader audience. Looking at the social media presences of these churches, you would think that Christ’s teachings were a form of easy-to-digest self-help slogans.
Unfortunately, this approach to Christianity conflates worldly success with spiritual success. We would do well to remember that Jesus was not a person who put much stock in worldly success; for Jesus, spiritual messages always came from the heart. Make your church’s message one of spiritual kindness rather than one of fashionable flashiness.
Don’t Avoid Tough Questions
In many ways, we are living in a period of transition in American culture. More and more people are choosing to live independently of their local church. These individuals are losing out on a sense of community and spiritual guidance that was once commonplace in the United States. It is little wonder that our communities are so disordered and chaotic at present!
To appeal to today’s would-be churchgoers, we must be frank about what religious observance can do for them. Base appeals to fear have no place in today’s religious landscape; at best, we will alienate people with an interest in Christianity; at worst, we will undermine our standards of good behavior.
If we want to lead others back into the fold, in other words, we must do so by example. We can’t do that if we don’t set a very high standard for ourselves first and foremost. It will be our good works that help us to build our churches. Throwing off centuries of tradition to follow flash-in-the-pan vogues will help no one.