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Scenario 3 – The Hybridchurch

At a Glance
  • By 2020, the digital generation has begun to lead churches that meet as easily in virtual as face-to-face worlds.
  • Refusing program driven passivity in church, they foster a high degree of authenticity and interactivity in worship experiences.
  • Sermons are multi-person conversations led by a pastoral team that encourages media-based contributions from congregants.

The Hybridchurch Letter

I’m Aiden Harris, a DC or digital coordinator for Lumenaré Church, in Orlando, FL. I grew up digital as part of the net generation. Net Geners transformed the Internet into a place to create and connect, rather than just a place where you found information. The most significant development since 2010 has been the emergence of the hybridchurch. We call our churches hybrid because, like amphibians, who operate on both water and land, we meet as easily in virtual as in face-to-face worlds.

In 2020, the personal navigator is not the notebook computer but the PMD, or Personal Media Device, the successor to iBerry. We use our PMDs to connect and create as an ecclesia, when we are gathered or scattered. Our sermons are not single-medium monologues, but multi-person conversations mixed by DCs like me. They are highlights of the previous week’s media-based conversations conducted by the pastoral team, along with instant polls and Twitter feeds. We still reach up in worship, but that itself is enriched by diverse techno or cultural elements assembled and replayed on 3D ultra screens, or on PMDs if we are scattered.

Three factors created today’s hybridchurch. The first was Net Geners like me, coming of age. We refused to be passive in church. The second was next generation broadband. These fiber networks enabled multi-person video conferencing by mid-decade, from both home and work, at 10-gigabit speeds. The third factor was the catalyst—the global N-fluenza of 2016, which shut down all face-to-face meetings for eight weeks. Hybridchurch meetings literally saved the church during those 60 days. It has stayed with us ever since. While some Boomers still operate ‘purebred’ churches, Net Geners like me expect and demand the high degree of authenticity and interactivity found in hybridchurches. We believe the multi-splendored presence of God is seen in the many, not just the few.

Gary, J. (2010, January). The post-church letters: Voices from 2020. Church Executive Magazine.
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