Evacuation Meeting Area

Evacuation Meeting Area

Originally uploaded by RobbbL

I’m on LinkedIn. I have all my regular jobs and then one I made up: Church 2.0 Explorer. Someone suggested I explain that one. I will sometime.

For now, however, I am starting to think about the conceptual connections with 0.0 and 1.0 and 2.0 when they are preceded by Web or Community or Church. And I think that there are some parallels.

Church 0.0 was about relationships, relationships between people and between people and God. The images in the Bible are of a Body and of a family and of a vine and branches and of a building. People met together in houses and in the temple courts and in the synagogues and in rented halls. They met for conversation and teaching and eating and prayer. They spent a lot of time interacting.

Sometime Church 1.0 started. It was far more about information and entertainment than interaction. It was more about ritual than revelation. It was a lot like Web 1.0 with infrequent updates and a top down presentation. There weren’t comment fields. Only the programmers could update the pages. The graphics were cool, but often not real.

More and more, however, we see Church 2.0. Far more interactive, far less institutional, this version looks a lot like 0.0. It’s not as slick as 1.0, but people are beginning to understand that church isn’t about the stiffness and structures and image, it’s about the relationships.

Web 2.0 interfaces fit well with this new model, not as an end in themselves but as a way of fostering real interaction between real people.

So what does this have to do with the sign? For some people, Church 1.0 was accompanied by a view of church as fire insurance. Church was a building, a place where you could go occasionally as a way to ensure that when the time came, you would be evacuated.

But if church is a web of relationships rather than a building, then maybe we don’t need to think just about evacuation. Maybe, just maybe, there is something of significance now.

A Church 1.0 doesn’t have much room for interacting about such things. But Church 2.0/0.0 enhanced by Web 2.0 and face-to-face interactions just might lead to some real relationships between real people and with a real God.

And obviously, you are getting really rough thoughts tonight.

But isn’t that the point?


6 responses to “Evacuation Meeting Area

  1. I’m thinking Jon.

    1.0 is often misunderstood.

    1.0 feels top down. 1.0 feels ritualized. But, like your analogy, 1.0 can provide the framework in which 2.0 can happen. 2.0 may be more reliant on 1.0 than you seem to allude.

    I’m thinking that ritual is a barrier if you let it be, if you think it is. Ritual could also be Jeff Pulver on Twitter from 5:00am to 7:00am each morning, beginning with Good Morning @jnswanson and from there real relationship can occur.

    It could be Mass at 8:00 with Fr. Norm beginning with “Good morning @everyone.” “Good morning @Fr. Norm” In the name of the…

    2.0 is not Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn. It is, as you say, relationships. 2.0 only happens on Twitter because we choose to. 1.0 doesn’t immediately preclude that and I believe that ritual can serve to facilitate it.

    I’m just saying…

  2. To the rest of the world:

    Here’s the funny thing. Rob commented, then texted back and forth with me and then I just emailed him. We’ve never been in the same geographic space. However, we have shared of our hearts.

    I think that’s 2.0 at its best.

    To rob:

    Ritual is a problem when preceded by the modifier “mere”. When it is viewed as something to check off rather than something to guide or direct or quiet you or orient you in the direction of the relationship(s), then there is a problem.

    However, the examples you use so perfectly of rituals which are about reestablishing relationship in the morning or refreshing it show us that there is or can be life in the ritual.

    The ritual/revelation distinction I was using grows out of, in part, Kenneth Burke who says that humans have an experience, a revelation. They then create a ritual, a form, with the desire of recreating the experience and thereby the revelation.

    And that seldom works.

    The reason that the Mass is a perfect example of living ritual is because it is. living. It is not something that we created saying, “this will take us closer to God”. It is something that God created, with Jesus saying, “Do this.”

    Contrast that, however, with a church which says, “church is the building. you don’t find God without coming here at this time.” Contrast that with a church which says, “Because these three songs made us FEEL holy 30 years ago, we have to sing them the same way in order to FEEL holy now…and you have to sing them and that feeling you have, that’s holy.”

    Talking too long. Anyone else?

  3. “as I travel through the US, I’m encountering more and more people who are believing without belonging. They’ve been committed Christians for decades and always attended church, but for some reason have chosen not to commit to a local body right now. Some go from church to church, others just stay home. They seem unable to articulate reasons, though there is a lot of disatisfaction and disappointment.”

    I lifted the above quote out of Rick’s blog -honest2blog.wordpress.com – it’s interesting to me the confluence of ideas here. Because on the one hand, empty ritual does not enhance our relationships with each other nor our relationship with God. On the other hand, the solution is clearly not to forsake meeting together with God’s people. I’m not sure how much credence I put in a “committed Christian” who is not part of a local body, who hops from church to church because THEY are not satisfied with their church experience, THEIR needs are not being met.

    I think from a personal perspective, it is my responsibility to commit, to remain, to encourage, to edify. I’m not sure from a leadership perspective if there is something that needs to change – but I’m pretty sure that the change will happen from person to person, in relationships, not with different programs/new worship styles/or more/less ritual – those are incidental. They may define one’s denomination, but they don’t circumscribe the body.

  4. I think the things in 1.0 that people made rituals of (like worship, prayer, studying that could reveal revelation) were things in 0.0 that God gave us as disiplines or guidelines. They were things we could do in order to show him that we wanted to get to know him better and were done from a desire in us to follow him. However people took these things and developed them into rituals of things they felt they must do or God will not be happy. When we started doing it for this reason it no longer came from a willing heart seeking God, but instead, from feeling bound to do it and even make it out to be a burden when it should be a road that leads to a close walk with God and many belssings.

  5. I have to think that a turning to or commitment to a community of faith is an essential part of following Christ. The problem is that with so many communities becoming simply a repetitive ritual with a goal of simply gathering more people unto itself, is being committed to that the same as being committed to a community of faith?

    [I know I am generalizing, but don’t worry, I am not talking about your church.]

    I really like Jon’s point here, though. And while he doesn’t explain the whole picture, his point is valid.

    Web 0.0 was a means of communication and cooperation amongst scientist and techies. Do you remember the old BBS systems? There were about relationships and sharing/gaining knowledge together to further knowledge and better the world.

    Web 1.0 is exactly as he says. It was the corporations telling us what to think. There were interactive elements here and there, but the bulk of the web experience was people going to the experts to gain information.

    Now, with web 2.0, it is all community. There are some mouthy self-appointed experts, but that was true in the church 0.0 and 1.0 so why are we surprised.

    The question that needs answering, for me at least, does not validate or invalidate church 1.0, but what does church 2.0 really look like? How can you have that community and commitment you need to be who Christ called you to be without the baggage of the rigid structure of 1.0?

    One of the other things that neither Jon nor I have pointed out yet is the cost of 1.0 vs. 2.0…

    1.0 was expensive or cheesy. 2.0 is free (or cheap) and functional. With the rising costs of the world we live in, isn’t church 2.0 a better option for people desiring to be good stewards of God’s money rather than the expense of Church 1.0 with the buildings, staff, and infrastructure?

    Anyone else? other thoughts?

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