If you haven’t heard the news, Facebook has just rebranded… well actually, it’s parent company has just rebranded. But unlike Google’s Alphabet name change, this will have profound implications for the future of the ‘Capital C’ Church around the world.
It’s more than a rebrand. It’s a vision of the future of online. And some would say, life itself.
To look forward and see why Meta will matter to your church we’ve got to look backwards. When web 2.0 emerged and from that social networks, new opportunities for the good news of gospel started to emerge. I remember the day way-back-when in the early 2000’s, when a member of my congregation told me to check this social network called The Facebook.
It was all very new, very exciting. The potential was massive for the gospel to reach so many people. Around the same time another online idea entered my world. Second Life. Second Life was one of the original meta-verses/online worlds. A world where you could create you own avatar. One church even created a church in this online meta-verse. It was so innovative.
I remember that same church innovate yet again and create something called ‘church online’. Ya know, that thing all you churches have ‘pivoted’ to in the last 18 months! Hats off to all the other early pioneers in that as well. You know who you are.
Six years ago I started my own church’s online campus. It was the first one based in Australia. It grew rapidly, people came to faith and was amazing to see how the gospel spread through social media and church online.
Enough background and context. Meta is so strategically important because once a global superpower like Facebook decides to do something like this, every other corporate superpower joins in the race. Innovation brings Competition.
(If you don’t believe me, just look up into the new space race. It’s all commercial).
In the same way that innovation brings competition, competition also brings more innovation. And the cycle continues. Just look at the various social media networks and how innovation has developed new social media networks. History will repeat itself again in the near future of Meta.
So implication does this have for the Church? Your church?
It means church online won’t be social channel or device dependant. Your church will become another digital environment. Another meta verse version of your church.
What meta looks like – AR or VR, and how immersive it will is unknown yet. But there are already innovators in the VR world. Check out VR Church.
At some point, Meta-Church will become a key way to reach people. And a way to experience church.
What do you think the impact of Meta-Verse will be? How do you think churches can leverage it? Comment below!