In my book, Ministry in the Digital Age, I assert that we are now in a “post-website world.” Here is how I explain it:
You see, we are now living in a post-website world. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but sometime in the past few years, there has been a move away from the organizational website as the primary way that people will interact with organizations. The massive popularity of social networking and the rise in mobile phone usage have changed the game. The key to understanding this is simple: the primary use of digital tools is now relational, not informational.
I get many reactions when I discuss this concept with ministry leaders. As you can imagine, they have spent a lot of time and money on the development of their own websites. But then I explain further:
When I tell people that we are in a post-website world, many times I get a defensive or even angry response. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that you don’t need a website! A website is your“stake in the ground”; it is how people will find information about you if they are looking for it. But you should no longer think of it as your first, or even primary, means of interacting with the public.
So if they are not stopping by organizational websites, then what exactly are people doing online? The answer is simple: they are connecting with other people. This is being driven by the convergence of two technologies: the rise of social media and mobile technologies.
A “post-website world” does not mean that your website is unimportant. Instead, it just means that you have to understand its purpose. In order to attract new people to your ministry or church, you must go to where they are, do not expect them to come to you. I call this “getting in the stream”, which I will discuss in my next post.
Do you agree that we are in a post-website world? Share your thoughts in the comments.