Moving Into Church 3.0

When the internet started, it began with Web 1.0. These were some of the first webpages that were up. Someone would put up a whole bunch of information for someone to consume and there would seldom be any interaction. For instance, if I wanted to write about Jesus or the Vikings, I would be the unequivocal expert on the topic. There was no comment section or any kind of feedback form. What one person says, goes. That’s web 1.0.

Web 2.0 was all about participation. It’s the social media version of the web. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter… All of these are centralized around active participation. The webmaster, instead of creating content for simple consumption, acts as more of an overseer of the content. Think of the relationship of Mark Zuckerberg to Facebook, the ever-well-known Tom to MySpace. Just so we have this straight:

Web 1.0 — Webmaster as authority.

Web 2.0 — Webmaster as overseer.

Web 3.0 is the webmaster as facilitator. We are really just getting on the cusp of this. Siri from iPhone 4s is an example of this. It takes information given and interprets it to give a different product in return. For instance, if I ask Siri “what are some restaurants in San Diego open on Thanksgiving?”. In a matter of seconds, a number of different results will come back with names of restaurants and phone numbers. Web 3.0 facilitates, interprets, and gives back.

This is how the web has progressed since its creation. And guess what? This is like church too.

Church 1.0 is the “standard” way of doing church. Pastor is the authority. What he says, goes. This leads to burnout like crazy. Also it’s entirely pastor-centric and pretty boring for everyone else involved. So church 1.0, not helpful.

Church 2.0 is pastor as overseer (catching a pattern?). This is probably the most common role of the modern church. Everyone in the congregation is empowered to do their thing and run the ministries, with the pastor as the overseer. The pastor doesn’t have to be actively involved in every little thing, but is still the centralized authority.

Church 3.0 is pastor as facilitator. In this model, the pastor is one of many decentralized authorities. The pastor helps identify different things that could help the community in articulating the shape and action of their faith journey. I think if the church has really any hope of surviving, this 3.0 model is what is going to have to become the prominent model.

What do you guys think of this? Where is your church in this spectrum? Does Church 3.0 sound like a feasible way of doing church? I’d love any feedback or experiences you have with these different ways of doing church.


For an excellent, yet briefly in-depth, study of Church 3.0, check out Doug Pagitt’s Church in the Inventive Age.

Theology is the Church’s Business

I was reading through some of Paul Tillich’s Systematics stuff today and a part jumped out at me that I felt compelled to share.

“Theology, as a function of the Christian church, must serve the needs of the church. A theological system is supposed to satisfy two basic needs: the statement of the truth of the Christian message and the interpretation of this truth for every new generation.”
Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, 1.1

Theology as thinking and speaking about God does not belong in the dusty halls of seminaries or the ivory tower of academia. It belongs in our sanctuaries, fellowship halls, youth rooms, Sunday schools, and pulpits. Anywhere people are thinking about God, there must be someone who asks the question of how it affects each new generation. If we fail to adapt theology in very particular ways, it might as well disappear from our discourse altogether.

What role does theology play in your church? How does your church act out its theology? Is it an important discussion point for your congregation?


My Deepest Fear

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson

I was recently reading a wonderful book that talks about minuscule shifts in the way we operate on a daily basis that can cause monumental change within the communities we live and work. Combine that with all of the TED talks that I have been listening to lately and inspired would be an understatement. There are so many people doing so many incredible things in the world. The more stories I hear about people’s adventures and things they learn, there is one thing that keeps rising to the top in my thoughts:

The impact that one person can have can be extraordinarily powerful.

I just read Blake Mycoskie’s memoir about how he started TOMS. Same thing. He was traveling in South America and noticed how few kids were wearing shoes. And he decided that he should create a business that opened up people’s awareness of the world while simultaneously helping the kids in this village. I think so often we get caught up in pursuing awareness to an extent that we don’t actually do anything to help the situation.

With almost all situations we face on a daily basis, most people see themselves as confronted with 3 options:

  1. You could do something to make the situation better.
  2. You could do something to make it worse.
  3. You could do nothing at all.

I would actually say that doing nothing is the same thing as doing something to make it worse, so I think there’s really only two options. You can either do something to make your situation better or worse.

In all situations, there has to be progress. There has to be evolution or whatever it is that we’re fighting for will die. We are capable of way more than we give ourselves credit for. Even if the change is so incremental it’s hardly noticeable, it’s moving in the right direction. It’s moving up the hill rather than sliding back down.

However big or small your shot may be… Take it.

Be powerful beyond measure.

I look forward to seeing you in our journey up the hill.


Be Still

I don’t know why I don’t have Psalm 46 tattooed to some part of my body already. It’s something that I need to read constantly. There’s something about the way I work that I become obsessed with the things that technology can do for me. And this isn’t like an “Ask not what technology can do for you” speech. I’m just saying, I need some help unplugging every once in awhile. And lately, this has been helping me unplug.

So take just a few minutes. Put your phone on mute. Breathe deep for a couple breaths. Place yourself in this picture and then Psalm 46 is just underneath it when you’re ready.

God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble. 

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
   though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 

though its waters roar and foam,
   though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy habitation of the Most High. 

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
   God will help it when the morning dawns. 

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
   he utters his voice, the earth melts. 

The Lord of hosts is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
   see what desolations he has brought on the earth. 

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
   he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

   he burns the shields with fire. 
‘Be still, and know that I am God!

   I am exalted among the nations,
   I am exalted in the earth.’ 

The Lord of hosts is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our refuge.


Now It All Makes Sense

Just to warn you, if you read and enjoy Twilight… You’ll probably want to stop reading this now.


As much as I hate to draw conclusions based on this… The only thing I can say is that I’m thankful I’ve spent my time in two of the bluest states on here: California and Minnesota. It also means that people probably only read Twilight out of boredom.

And the lit fans of the world rejoice!


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