This is less of a blog post and more of a mind dump…feel free to try and read it.
I saw a talk by Clay Shirky at SXSW Interactive this year that was mind blowing for me in terms of pulling together lots of ideas I have into a detailed breakdown of the revolution in Egypt. In case you were living under a rock the last few months you know that the Egyptian dictator was overthrown by the people of that country and the catalytic tools of web, social media and SMS were the factor that finally made it possible.
I believe there is some correlation between the revolution in Egypt (and now happening in several other states led by dictators) and the potential for revival in the ‘C’hurch. There is also some correlation between dictators and pastors in terms of their roles. I freely admit that as a pastor many of my decisions are clouded by my desire to keep my job and I think I can speak for every pastor I have ever met when I say that.
**UPDATE** SXSW Released the Audio
Clay Shirky at SXSWi
The first thing Clay did was draw up a history of what media has done throughout history starting with Tyndale and his printing of the Bible. The bishop of London bought up the entire first run of Tyndale’s printed Bible so that they could be destroyed. He was afraid if this content being available to everyone. The side effect was that this gave a guarantee to Tyndale that the entire print run would sell and that allowed him to continue on.
Shirky then said:
And he continued:
The average church, and in turn the ‘C’hurch, has control of content scarcity in that the content creators (pastors) are few in number and dwell in an expert class that presides over a pfeifdom who merely consumes that content. I believe that the average church member would love to be part of shaping the community of their church much more than they do and outside of there being more channels for communication most, like the people of Egypt, will continue to feel like they are all alone in their thoughts and ideas and never take action because they don’t believe they have the platform to distribute content that reflects their ideas and personality.
We are on the brink of seeing all this change in the church and it will be because of the open access to media that we will see a revival of some kind in our generation in the Church.
I’m excited for what is coming and I hope that as a leader I am ready to lead in this knew reality. This could however be a painful time for leaders who are unwilling to adapt and open up the channels of content based on scarcity and allow for a peaceful transfer of power.