There are events that occur only rarely in history that transform cultures and generations for all time. We call these event-eras an “epoch”. Epochs are cultural advancements that leave an indelible mark upon the world so that it will never again be the same. To those who have been fortunate to encounter a global epoch, and who have been transformed by the experience, they cannot help but view the pre-epoch culture as anything other than mundane and antiquated. An epoch experience is a giant leap in the intellectual and cultural development of humanity.
This book is about just such an epoch, and how it will forever transform the ministry strategies used by Christ’s Church. People generally resist imposed change, therefore epochs are also resisted. An epoch is “change on steroids”. As such, epochs are often accompanied by war and the destruction of those societal structures that refuse to embrace the values and knowledge that accompanies a global epoch. It makes little difference whether the destruction of those who resist epoch revolutions take place intentionally, as a result of some militant action, or passively, as the result of obsolescence, the end result is the same…people and institutions who fail to embrace a global epoch ultimately diminish, and then disappear. Examples of global epochs include: The printing press, mass transit, radio, television, personal computers, and the internet. Each epoch progressively transforms societal culture. What is the result? Few people today would consider rewinding the clock to replace the world we now know with that of a previous era.
Christ’s Church is once again confronting a global epoch. The global internet culture has so profoundly transformed how communication occurs, and how relationships form and are maintained, that in retrospect, the mediums and structures of today’s institutional church seem “mundane and antiquated”. Our institutional churches are at a crossroads, whether they realize it or not. They must either embrace the global epoch or die. In much the same way the traditional churches of the 1940’s and 1950’s were rejected by the television-influenced boomer generation as culturally irrelevant, a global epoch magnifies the discrepancy between relevant and irrelevant incalculably. It is in humanity’s nature that we filter our understanding of Scripture and worship through our unique cultural distinctives. So while Christians will always share in common the truth of redemption by grace, and through faith, in the divine-personhood and all-sufficient-work of Jesus Christ, how we implement and apply our understanding of what it means to “live for Christ” may radically differ from culture to culture. Sadly, we become so accustomed to our own cultural paradigm, that any means of Christ-centered worship and Christian practice, apart from our preferred cultural norm, may be viewed by some as strange at best, and at worst, denounced as theological error. Epochs change culture. Epochs forever change a culture’s values and practices. With this is mind, I ask that proceed through this book with a shared commitment to withhold our judgment against those who are adopting cultural preferences that significantly differ from the establishment.
Checkout the eShift Video – CLICK HERE
Dan Webster: Crystal Cathedral, Willow Creek, and Authentic Leadership Inc.
“The church has been choking for decades on the naive assumption that the world hasn’t changed. eShift provides the necessary Heimlich Maneuver to clear her throat so that the fresh air of life and relevance can return. If you are over 40 this writing will be a wake up call. If you are under 25 you will shout Hallelujah that someone has finally stated things as they truly are. Either way, eShift is a gift to the church. Let’s hope it’s one that is opened and applied, not ignored.”
Leonard Sweet: Author, Drew University, George Fox University, Sermons.com
“I expect this book to stir controversy, but of the best sort: Eye-opening and mind-altering perspectives on what it might mean for the church to embrace the internet today as the primary delivery system for learning and faith development as our Protestant ancestors adopted the book as their primary delivery system in the Reformation Church.”
Quentin Schultze: Arthur H. DeKruyter Chair, Calvin College
“eShift challenges us how to think about and practice ministry in the age of digital networking, social media, multimedia technologies, and mobile devices. No one knows exactly where this techno-cultural epoch is heading, but Posthuma invites us to participate in the conversations that will undoubtedly shape how we respond to emerging opportunities.”
Video: Checkout the eShift Video – CLICK HERE
My latest book, entitled: eShift – The Decline of the Attractional Church and the Rise of the Internet-Influenced Church, launched in e-book format. I am so excited to partner with CLC Publications on the eShift project! Their 73 year history of publishing Christian literature provides an outstanding foundation for eShift’s exploration of how Christ’s Church will minister within a rapidly transforming culture.
For decades now, the North American culture was shaped by television. Television inspired our culture to value entertainment that can be watched passively on a screen. In many of our churches today, the projection of the worship band or the teaching pastor upon a large screen has acquiesced to this long-established cultural norm. However, that “norm” is no longer normative. The passive observation of entertaining characters on a big screen has given way to the values of interactivity, collaboration, and personal mission. It is the invasion of the internet culture and its core values that now supersede the establishment’s beleaguered television values. What is the consequence? The internet-influenced church movement is a counter-culture. Everything we have come to believe about how we “do” church, must be disposed of. It is a tabula rasa…a clean slate…that is needed in our consideration of ecclesiastical methodology. Jesus spoke of the necessity to put new wine into new wine-skins so that the fermenting process would not burst the worn skins. In the same way, we cannot simply use our establishment church-skins and sprinkle-in elements of a counter-culture.
The conversation and exploration of what it means to be an “Internet-Influenced Church” is launched in my book eShift, but continues in my website entitled: InternetInfluenced.com. Come join the counter-culture.
eBook Purchase Links:
Ipad – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/eshift/id884240303?mt=11
Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/eShift-Decline-Attractional-Church-Internet-Influenced-ebook/dp/B00KO771PQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1401810722&sr=1-1&keywords=eshift
Checkout the eShift Video on YouTube – Click Here