This is only the third time in the history of the church that both the mission field and the way we communicate with that mission field have changed. This age has not been the only significant cultural development of our day. In terms of communicating to our mission field, there has also been a digital revolution.
When the early Christian movement burst onto the scene, the culture was pre-Christian in orientation and communication was largely oral in nature. The first manifestation of the church, Church 1.0, was largely oriented toward this context. With the conversion of Constantine and the subsequent fall of Rome (leaving the church as the only social glue), Christianity loomed large over the world coupled with communication moving toward a written form and eventually mechanized. Church 2.0 met that challenge. We now live in a post-Christian world that has simultaneously gone through a digital revolution in communication. This calls for Church 3.0, a hybrid church that is both physical and digital, for the believer and for the non-Christian.
In Hybrid Church, James Emery White addresses the post-pandemic church in the US. Because of COVID-19, nearly every church in the US was forced to adapt to a quarantine and adopt new ministry strategies, including digital technologies they may have avoided before. White asks churches to see this as a positive and keep a dual physical and digital strategy to reach a post-Christian culture in a digital age. It is almost universally agreed that the future of the church is to be "hybrid" in nature, meaning both physical and digital, for the believer yet reaching out to a post-Christian world. With Hybrid Church, James Emery White casts the vision and draws the roadmap for ministry in a post-Christian digital world.
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president; and author of more than twenty books that have been translated into ten languages.