Church 2.0

much talk about Web 2.0.

much hype about Bubble 2.0

much skepticism about Burst 2.0

more thought needed about Emerging Church 2.0

As I type these words into my blog editor, the term “Web 2.0” is currently the most searched phrase or key word on Technorati’s blog search. There is a lot of discussion and dreaming and criticism. Last months Web 2.0 Conference (the second one) made a huge splash. The 2004 conference had people like Tim O’Reilly throwing some bones about how Web 2.0 might look and feel . . .

O’Reilly said: “Web 2.0″ stands for the idea that the Internet is evolving from a collection of static pages into a vehicle for software services, especially those that foster self-publishing, participation, and collaboration. . . ”

“User-centered Web phenomena such as blogging, community photo-sharing (exemplified by Flickr), collective editing (Wikipedia), and social bookmarking (Delicious), they argue, are disrupting traditional ideas about how software is built and how information is generated, shared, and distributed on the Internet.”


Web2

The idea behind Web 2.0 is not new at all, although much of the tech now available to pull off Web2.0-sized dreams is recent. Web 2.0 is how some of us initially viewed the internet in the 90’s when we chose to start journalling our lives rather than creating static vanity sites or commercial storefronts. By 1999, the word blogging was adopted and the idea of casual self-publishing and hypertext linking is now not only acceptable, but in many cases, preferable. This is what Douglas Rushkoff was referring to in his “Open Source Democracy” [PDF] where he outlined the initial flavor of the simple, collaborative web, and how it was captured by commercial interests and mystified beyond the reach of ordinary people. But now we are returning to demystification and empowerment of the masses for self-expression and connectivity. Or . . Web 2.0

Anyway, the ideas of collaboration, participation, distributed power etc, are all very similar to what we are seeing in the newer crop of churches started by media savvy, web-native people and bloggers. That makes me want to suggest . . .

Church 2.0 . . . a missional ecclesiastic response to a culture influenced by the values of Web 2.0

Emerging Church 2.0 might be those emerging churches that are shaped by new media values rather than old media. They write blog posts rather than articles, PDFs rather than books, start churches without buildings, and lack a vertically hierarchical leadership structure. Hierarchy is modular and dynamic, rather than vertical and static. I am not talking about cyberchurches that migrate to the web. I am talking about alternative faith communities that emerge online and then seek physical meetings, new aggregations of believers that connect with each other and the world through the complex networks that make up their World 2.0

Jesus 2.0? No . . . SILLY . . . He’s the same yesterday, today and forever

Gospel 2.0? No . . same timeless message but the message has always been delivered and distributed in a particular context. And I am talking about . . . . yes . . . Context 2.0

Church 2.0? You bet.

Any thoughts out there on this subject? [Apart from the large amount of criticism I will receive about this post]

Related:

Christian Blogging and Web 2.0 on Blogs4God

– Blog Ministry notes that most churches are still Web 1.0 and suggests 5 Christian Web 2.0 services you could do.

Coop links to a Web 2.0 Checklist

Forward Slash, EmergAnt: New Media Fluency, Generation Text, by tsk

– Jim’s Church 2.0 project and wiki

We Know More Than Our Pastors, by Tim Bednar

– Fred Peatross is writing his Mod-Church Manifesto, with hat tipping towards Cluetrain.

“15) To the conventional church, our networked conversations may appear disorganized and confused. But the conversation is gathering; movement will soon follow. We have the tools, more ideas, and no rules to slow us down.”

Dig Think

Andrew Careaga (of e-ministry) highlights a piece on digital storytelling from Digitial Think.

[quote]”This is the dawn of the connected epoch in human civilization. We are living, you and I, in the first seconds of a society reshaped by empowered individuals connected by digital networks, of lives shaped by unprecedented volumes of information and shifting notions of knowledge and trust.”

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

38 Comments

  • From my experiences in Lafayette, LA of starting a church like this [this past June], we didn’t emerge online. Instead, most of us came out of church with an unsettling feeling that things didn’t fit anymore. This is how we met each other – this understanding that Church 1.0 didn’t seem real. So now, Church 2.0 is what we’re pushing towards together.

  • evergreen on the cutting edge…

    Andrew Jones in a discussion of Web 2.0 leads into thoughts of emerging church 2.0 with: Emerging Church 2.0 might be those emerging churches that are shaped by new media values rather than old media. They write blog posts rather

  • Andrew, before this was termed Web 2.0 many people called it Open Source, before that, we called it the free software movement.
    What about reviving the old “Free Church” name?

  • Good thoughts here, Andrew. You’ve seemingly been ahead of the game for some time re: this emergence of what Wired magazine referred to as “prosumption” (simultaneous production & consumption) this last August. href=”http://www.brandonwellcome.com/blog/2005/09/windows-of-opportunity-in-modern-day.html”>BLOG LINK Assuming that this trend isn’t going to somehow reverse human nature’s tendency towards egotism, self-promotion, and other forms of self-centredness (hmmmmmm . . . how’s that for skepticism), what do you think are some potential problematic issues in this trend that Christ-followers can influence in redemptive ways? Do you think big corporate monsters will try to jump on it in manipulative ways to rake in the $/£/etc.? Whatever the case, I think there are some kick-ass implications for the Bride of Christ!

  • Church 2.0

    Andrew Jones has some very interesting reflections on the Idea of Web 2.0 and what it might mean for churches today and into the future. Web2.0 suggests that we are seeing a significant, collaborative and social shift in internet usage, perhaps most e…

  • The Cathedral the Bazaar and the Emerging Church

    It is fascinating to me that some of the things that have been happening in my discipline (computer science) also seem to be happening to the church. Andrew referenced this in his blog today.

  • Steal This Church …

    I have been strugling a lot with how the open source ethos integrates into what I do as a christian and a minister on staff at a church. As I have taken four or five stabs at writing a long comment on TSK’s post. I have come closer to formulating a way to

  • Hello Andrew – great concept, I love those ideas that just click. But a couple of thoughts on the nature of Web 2.0 which may have a bearing on Church 2.0
    Web 2.0 is a beautifully vacant term – what does it mean? It is a buzz word, it resonates rather than communicates. That is not nessecarily a bad thing – it is a statement of something new – an idea for people to get excited about.
    And aspects of it like Ajax are very interesting – the idea of pre-emptive web browsing, which create a intuative, seamless source of information. Google maps isn’t actually Ajax based, but is the most obvious example.
    I love the idea of the gospel expressed in an intuative and seamless manner instead of the clunky stop-start experience of contemporary church. LIfestyle integrated discipleship, and pre-emptive provision of information that equips us before we need it…

  • Hello Andrew – great concept, I love those ideas that just click. But a couple of thoughts on the nature of Web 2.0 which may have a bearing on Church 2.0
    Web 2.0 is a beautifully vacant term – what does it mean? It is a buzz word, it resonates rather than communicates. That is not nessecarily a bad thing – it is a statement of something new – an idea for people to get excited about.
    And aspects of it like Ajax are very interesting – the idea of pre-emptive web browsing, which create a intuative, seamless source of information. Google maps isn’t actually Ajax based, but is the most obvious example.
    I love the idea of the gospel expressed in an intuative and seamless manner instead of the clunky stop-start experience of contemporary church. LIfestyle integrated discipleship, and pre-emptive provision of information that equips us before we need it…

  • thanks mark . . i heard you the first time . . . but now that you repeated it, its even better!
    i try to keep up with the ajax developments but have never thought about the pre-emptive element of the church
    what about Jesus initiating his love towards us with a mere whisper for help?
    what about the Holy Spirit interceding and interpreting for us to the Father with only our small uninformed prayers?
    now you got me thinking . . .

  • Yes sorry about the double post – should know better than to click again just ‘cos it seems to be stalled.
    I like the pre-emptive God idea – he knows the things you have need of before you ask Him, but how about a pre-emptive church, that engages with peoples issues and questions before they know they are asking them…

  • Thanks for the mention.
    One thing to note is that lots of us web designers think the term Web 2.0 is a bunch of marketing who-ha. And it is.
    Basically, I believe Web 2.0 is really what the original web was supposed to be; interactive, persistant and pervasive rather than static, dial-up and local.
    What is important to note is that this transformation is really enabled by the web and slowly transforming society (not just the church)–by changing how people expect to gather information and learn.
    It is very exciting.
    BTW: I’m working on a follow up to that paper.

  • tim – yes – thats what i was saying. same web we have known for a decade with a new title and new pomp.
    but it does throw up the opportunity for discussion among a wider crowd and those that have never thought about it.

  • Church 2.0: Journeys Without Maps

    Lots of talk lately about what is starting to be called Church 2.0 aka church reimagined or the church that is emerging (emerged?) or any number of other epithets. Recently:
    Andrew Jones: Church 2.0
    Michael Lee: Groupthink: …

  • Church 2.0

    Gavin pointed to an interesting, re-invigorating of my “theoblogizing” ways—-how the “Open Source”, “Cluetrain-like” thinking and Christian communities serious about living life in depth with an eye to intense formation—-all that kind of stuff. Thi…

  • Church 2.0

    Gavin pointed to an interesting post, re-invigorating of my “theoblogizing” ways—-how the “Open Source”, “Cluetrain-like” thinking and Christian communities serious about living life in depth with an eye to intense formation—-all that kind of stuff…

  • What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church

    Web 2.0 is the latest rage. It’s on the cover of Newsweek and everyone is speculating if it’s the revenge of the dot com boom. This is the beginning of an multi-part series on web. 2.0 and what it could mean for the church. What is Web 2.0? It depends …

  • How exactly is this “Church 2.0” different from, say, the church in Acts? Or even after the Reformation? It just sounds like so much of the emergent/post-modern/Church 2.0 stuff is just stylist difference and a focus on relationships. Well, that’s what the church was designed to be. And it has been for centuries, in ways that were appropriate to that culture.
    Like Time the web dude said, the web was always supposed to be collaborative–the technology just finally caught up.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not poo-pooing the idea of a more relationally-focused church. Let’s just not get too crazy and think we’re reinventing the wheel. You’re aboslutely right–the Bible and Jesus are still the same. I think we’re just putting our own generation’s skin on it all.

  • doug, i think a better question to ask is – how was the church in acts appropriate to the context in Acts, or the reformation to its times.
    distributed power (a dynamic, modular hierachary) is more than a stylistic change to a top heavy church run by a big man in charge.

  • What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church

    Web 2.0 is the latest rage. It’s on the cover of Newsweek and everyone is speculating if it’s the revenge of the dot com boom. This is the beginning of an multi-part series on web. 2.0 and what it could mean for the church. What is Web 2.0? It depends …

  • What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church

    Web 2.0 is the latest rage. It’s on the cover of Newsweek and everyone is speculating if it’s the revenge of the dot com boom. This is the beginning of an multi-part series on web. 2.0 and what it could mean for the church. What is Web 2.0? It depends …

  • What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church

    Web 2.0 is the latest rage. It’s on the cover of Newsweek and everyone is speculating if it’s the revenge of the dot com boom. This is the beginning of an multi-part series on web. 2.0 and what it could mean for the church. What is Web 2.0? It depends …

  • What Web 2.0 Means for Your Church

    Web 2.0 is the latest rage. It’s on the cover of Newsweek and everyone is speculating if it’s the revenge of the dot com boom. This is the beginning of an multi-part series on web. 2.0 and what it could mean for the church. What is Web 2.0? It depends …

  • “Hierarchy is modular and dynamic, rather than vertical and static.”
    How would this work? How do we create modular and dynamic hierarchies? I too believe that a certain hierarchy must exist in leadership. But how do we strive towards something like this?

  • rob
    modular hierarchy shows itself every time you aggregate words on a search engine.
    i have also seen it come into play when a particular gift (evangelist, pastor) is needed for the moment.
    perhaps the best model of hierarchical modularity is within the three Persons of the Trinity.
    What do you think?

  • Trying to get it (brain hurting) Ok think I managed a thought.
    The first assumption in this statement is that hierarchy is necessary at least to some degree. O.K. I can buy that.
    Modular Hierarchy took me a little longer to get my head around. It sounds like an Oxymoron Moron at first. But once I realized that these are networks that are created by the amount of participation I understood that hierarchy was not created but it emerged as the result of actions of the participants.
    I like the way that the example of the three persons of the trinity forces the dynamic nature of the model. Connectedness to each one is necessary at different moments and tasks. Thus ones relationship with the trinity is dynamic by nature.
    Thanks Andrew I am starting to understand the Kingdom a little better in this context.

  • I have been trying to embrace and lift up the values of Web 2.0 in the church. We are trying to integrate some of that philosophy in our youth ministry. It always seems like the youth ministry is the incubator for new ideas.

  • I’ve found this site and many others like it through a wonderful Google search while looking for research for a Capstone project I’m beginning to work on for graduating with my Computer Science degree from a Baptist University. Naturally I like the idea of comparing the two things I’ve decided to devote my life to. I’ve found links to all sorts of things, and right now it’s so much to sort through, having spent very little time studying this subject prior to this project, and I was wondering if you could assist me in narrowing my search for “scholarly/academic” literature, in other words I need some Church 0.1 material in the form of books, and was wondering if there were any authors you’d recommend.
    I will most definitely using this site and many other similar ones in my research.
    Thank you,
    Elizabeth

  • i’m a little surprised at the naivetee here.
    “This is what Douglas Rushkoff was referring to in his “Open Source Democracy” [PDF] where he outlined the initial flavor of the simple, collaborative web, and how it was captured by commercial interests and mystified beyond the reach of ordinary people. But now we are returning to demystification and empowerment of the masses for self-expression and connectivity. Or . . Web 2.0″
    that text carries a message that i would have thought you would struggle to swallow; wants to demystify religion, and relativize all its assertions
    ‘Religions and ideologies are terrific things, so long as no one
    actually believes in them’ – a theme repeated many times in the text, in terms which must be untenable not just to ‘fundies’ – evangelicals of any stripe, webified or not.
    those who embrace the whole web 2 meme could do with a more solid sort sense of the history behind it than this pastiche of unsupported philosophical claims.
    (eg try this for something more solid
    http://thinkubator.ccsp.sfu.ca/Dynabook/dissertation
    in the realm of education i’m weary of shallow web 2 cheerleaders – even more disappointing to find them in the church. Certainly, we should engage with technology, but with more depth than just joining the glut of paragraph style reporting on web 2 tools – mixed with some loose claims for a the ‘new world’ (and to generalise from this thin and under supported base to ‘church 2’ is surely thinking at its woolliest. Would only survive on a blog.)

  • This is a great post. I hope Church 2.0 catches up with Business 2.0, which shouldn’t take much. Sure, businesses are embracing the technology, but not so much the collaborative philosophy. Administration is necessary, but only to establish the vision and mission of the organization. Well, and it’s ethical behavior. After that, give the power to the people (who are doing the work).

  • It includes discussions of self service IT, the long tail of enterprise IT demand, and many other consequences of the Web 2.0 era in the enterprise.

Leave a Reply