Digital Innovation Example: Power Hour of Prayer Show
October 10, 2020
This past week I joined pastor Ren Schuffman on his online show, The Power Hour of Prayer. It wound up being a really interesting experience, and one that I wanted to share as an example of someone who is exploring the new options for church made possible by technology.
The format of the show is rather simple; the show starts as an interview, and then transitions into prayer ministry with whoever is there participating. Pastor Ren streams to a number of different platforms and goes live most evenings at the same time. He was doing a similar thing before the COVID season with a show he called, "Miracle Monday's", and when things shut down he took the show live most nights. Since then the show has grown exponentially.
At this point, I've done my fair share of interviews on various platforms, but what really stood out to me about this show is how active the ministry time was. It was honestly hard to keep up with - there were hundreds upon hundreds of comments streaming as people were responding to prophecies and healings were happening. I've done a lot of online ministry over the years, but I've never experienced anything quite like this. Pastor Ren has created something that on the front-edge of digitally-enabled-Holy-Spirit-empowered ministry here, and I think it's worth sharing this so we can all be reflecting on what we can learn from him.
(The show is rather long, so if you want to hop over my China story and meeting the Holy Spirit, the ministry portion starts at about 52 minutes in.)
It seems to me that part of what Pastor Ren is doing well here is the two-way connection he works to cultivate with the comments. He posts many of them on the stream, creating a different feel than a typical show. It feels more interactive, more like something we're all doing together, which is one of the things technology empowers at greater scales. What he put on the screen may have been 1 in 10 comments that were flooding in though, so there was much more participation than you see here.
In any case, I came away from this experience really turning things over because this is one of the first ministry models I've seen that really harnesses technology to create a different experience, and not just broadcast the same experience to a wider audience. I appreciate that, and I think the Lord has more innovation like this for the body of Christ. May this be an example for us to learn from and to inspire us to keep exploring what is possible in our 21st century context.
Putty Putman has traced a wild journey with Jesus from physicist to pastor to entrepreneur to author and speaker. His three main passions are the Holy Spirit, effective communication and journeying towards the future God has for the church and the world.
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