Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chatting as the New Normal

We got lots of feedback from yesterday's Internet service on Ustream. LOTS of positive comments, but some frustration expressed about the chat room. Some of that was technological. But some of it was philosophical. Let me speak in to this a little.

Chatrooms during teaching moments is the new normal. People of my generation and older don't quite understand them, but we need to take a step back and open our minds a little. Let me explain.

I was raised that you focus and pay attention to someone talking. I was raised to believe that it was actually rude to do something else while another was speaking to you.

But that world doesn't exist anymore. Colleges and other learning institutions all over are embracing the new reality that the next generation of leaders and learners are multi-sensory students. They chat, text, listen, watch, and take notes all at the same time. And while you and I might think it's impossible to do this effectively, those who have never known any other way would argue otherwise.

Churches are even experimenting now with large screens to the side of the teaching pastor on Sundays where twitter chat rooms happen, so that people can tweet about the message, while it's happening, during the service.

You and I might not really understand this, but we need to give it another look. We said we'd do whatever it took to reach people. We can either relate to young people, or we can wither into the pages of irrelevance, like so many churches who have gone before us. Let's keep and open mind, recognize that chatrooms are not sinful, and learn to be a part of the new normal.

I know it's hard. It's hard for me, too. But while we're learning to chat, your teenager or young adult child or grandchild is talking about the coolest church they know.

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