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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."


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]

- 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."

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