Multiplication Center

Meet Your Church’s R&D Department

May 25, 2022

By Jeff Reed

Innovation is difficult within the church. As a non-profit, we never want to be seen as wasting money on experimentation. Time is also short since our next weekend service is always less than 167 hours away. It’s hard to stay on top of things, and who wants to keep pivoting? No wonder so many feel the pressure to go back to the way church was before 2020, when things were easier to manage and control.

Innovation is difficult within the church.

When it comes to the metaverse, the temptation is to bury our heads in the sand. General technology and social media can even be hard to identify with and follow for some today. So, the thought of strapping on a virtual reality headset seems laughable. However, you have support and hope.

Your Church’s Greatest Metaverse Resource Is Sitting in Your Pews

  • Do you know who is passionate about the metaverse? Someone in your church.
  • Do you know who has incredible ideas on how NFTs can revolutionize your discipleship process? Someone in your church.
  • Do you know who can help your church get set up to accept cryptocurrency? Someone in your church.
  • Do you know who is already sharing Jesus with people in virtual reality but is missing encouragement? Someone in your church

You see where I’m going.

The odds are that there are people in your church who are excited about “this metaverse stuff.” And, believe it or not, some are already thinking about how this metaverse stuff carries over into church/religious circles. All they are looking for from you is permission. However, you have to empower them and not control them for this to be successful.

Controlling What You Don’t Understand Limits Potential

One of the painful cultural pivots is the idea of shifting away from controlling to empowering. In a practical sense, this means releasing control. Giving away power, authority, and control will invigorate your people. It will also stretch them as they work from a position of authority.

When it comes to the metaverse, the temptation is to bury our heads in the sand.

It may seem silly, but metaverse (and other digital) ministry and physical ministry operate differently. A simplified approach to ministry limits the reach and impact in many ways. People reached through the metaverse can differ from those ministered through the building. Even if you have staff in this area, you may need to permit them to break the physical rules and empower them to reach people in digital or metaverse spaces.

Disciple, Release, and Hold Accountable

Is it important for you to keep up with what’s happening in the metaverse? Sure! Is it important for you to micromanage what’s happening in the metaverse? Only if you want to hinder growth. However, there is one qualification. Don’t start releasing control to people you don’t know in your church. Empowering is more than just giving permission. You need to also disciple them.

Discipleship includes accountability (again, not micromanagement). You’re not a coach or a boss but a companion along the road, making sure the destination is to glorify God. Yet, how do you encourage, support, or hold accountable someone who’s doing personal ministry outside the church walls? When your church figures that out, expect your ministry to explode.

Empowering is more than just giving permission. You need to also disciple them.

If we could get to the place where we trust people spiritually and release them to actually “be” the church in digital and metaverse spaces, we would literally raise the roof off our buildings. Our buildings can keep a tight lid on the gospel, and that lid needs to be raised. We get past this lid by releasing our people from the building.

Do you want to develop a research & development department for your church? Disciple people. Release them. Hold them accountable. And then watch where God takes your church.


In June 2000, Jeff led his first online Bible study, taking 75 people from around the world through the book of James using a text-based system called Ultimate BB. He was doing digital ministry way before it was cool. Founding THECHURCH.DIGITAL in 2018, Jeff’s passions have evolved into helping churches (and individuals too!) find their calling through digital discipleship, releasing people on digital mission, and planting multiplying digital churches. This pursuit will expand as Jeff (and others) create the DigitalChurch.Network, an organic, decentralized network for digital expressions of church, globally. Jeff also serves as the Director of Metaverse Church NEXT for Leadership Network, and works closely with Exponential and other globally facing, multiplication-friendly, gospel-centric organizations.

Jeff married his high school sweetheart, Amy, and has two kids and a dog. They live in Miami, Florida.

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