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Digital Natives Are on the Rise in Your Church—Do You Speak Their Language?

My kids are “digital natives,” born into a time when they take the explosion in new technology and connection for granted. I learn a lot about the world we live in by seeing my 14-year-old confidently upload videos onto Youtube, start his own blog and establish his presence in online communities.

Social media is changing the way we see ourselves in the world today. We live in a world where anybody, even a young teenager, has the opportunity to contribute to global conversations about big issues, and to make his presence felt.

We no longer leave the talking up to the “experts.” We live in a time where we have access to more information than we can ever use or process, at our fingertips, 24/7. We no longer need to educate people as if information were scarce.

We live in an age where everyone can have a voice and an impact, where we all have the opportunity to contribute and participate. We no longer passively sit back and let people tell us what to think.

How do you see these changes shifting the way we do church in five years, in 10 years? Can the current passive model of sitting and listening to one person speak be sustainable in the midst of this cultural shift?  

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Kathleen Ward’s driving passion is welcoming outsiders into community. This involves drinking copious cups of tea and spending time with neighbours and new friends from other cultures and backgrounds. Her secondary interest is encouraging the church to move from performance to empowerment; from audience to community; from passive listening to active learning. She co-writes this blog with her best friend and husband, Kevin-Neil Ward