Saturday, October 06, 2007

future of denominational organs

I write (and am paid to write) a monthly film review of a denominational (Methodist) magazine (which I then have permission to reproduce on this blog 2 weeks after the magazine has gone to print). Personally, it is hard work, another demand in a busy life. But it’s worth it because it forces me to keep recording and developing my thoughts about film. It’s also pretty hard to go past free double pass tickets to the movies.

Anyhow, the magazine arrived today and the following letter to the editor caught my eye:

I wonder whether the Methodist Church needs a thorough reworking of a theology of communication and mission in the 21st century. I suspect the end of such a process might result in something that looks like this:
– investing in a contemporary, interactive website;
– paying Paul Titus [editor] to blog rather than write articles for print media, paying Steve Taylor [hey that was me] to blog about movies and contemporary culture, pay someone else to blog about spirituality etc, etc;
– using email to point to developments and points of interest on the website;
– if we must use trees perhaps a smaller, twice annual print broadsheet/flyer which would highlight where interesting debates are happening, some stories, more information on the web. …

I know, I can hear it now – ‘Not everyone is on the web.’ Yes, that is plainly true but it is also true that communication has come along way since the printing press, and any missional church (or contemporary business for that matter) ignores the Internet at its peril.

The people a missional church is endeavouring to connect with are certainly web and text savvy. Come on, it’s time to move on, or fade away. The choice is yours. Rosemary Neave

Now, besides the fact that I would love to be paid to blog about culture and will gladly consider job offers, what do people think of the letter and the issues raised? What changes have people seen to denominational and church communication in the last few years? What changes to denominational and local church communication do we want to see?

Posted by steve at 09:27 AM


  1. I wasn’t surprised to see that it was Rosemary that wrote the letter and I couldn’t agree with her more… Well said Rosemary! There are rich possibilities, not only for the Methodists.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — October 6, 2007 @ 9:41 am

  2. i too wasn’t surprised it was Rosemary who wrote that! She’s fab.

    Comment by cheryl — October 6, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

  3. ‘Not everyone is on the web.’ May be plainly true, but it is ALSO plainly true that even though the NZ Baptists subsidise a monthly print publication that is given away free. However, most people under X in our church (you insert your guess at the age – mine is about 45) don’t read it.

    To my mind it is a no brainer, which medium do you spend more on, the one no one reads, or the one that is cheaper to run? Why the one no one reads – of course. Duh!

    Comment by Tim — October 7, 2007 @ 9:45 am

  4. Tim,

    should balmoral baptist and opawa baptist bring a motion to assembly, asking for changes to NZ baptist: that we reduce issues and use the $ saved to pay some bloggers and get the website interactivity and email competency?

    i’m happy to push it, if i’ve got some friends


    Comment by lynne — October 7, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

  5. With the growing array of independent blogs and other sites discussing and resourcing christian spirituality, (some of whom are obviously talanted) it would make sense for denominations to help pull the quality contributions together into something that really “catches the eye” and informs the soul. If we are giving magazines and newspapers away free there should be no inhibitions to producing excellent new zealand internet publications.

    Comment by andrew — October 9, 2007 @ 11:55 am

  6. There’s no doubt at all in my mind that this is the way forward. Not one shred.

    I’ve got students googling quiz answers on their mobile phones. Most would prefer to work on their laptops than write in an exercise book; if the schools would allow it.

    I mean, I’m 10 years older than them and read 70 percent online (+ 20% book/periodical and 10% audiobook).

    Let the forests keep their trees.

    Comment by Craig — October 17, 2007 @ 4:15 am

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