How is Technology Changing the Church?
First let me say, that the trend toward technology and church is inevitable. As far back as I can remember there has always been the use of technology in our church…an organ, microphone, sound machine, video or slide projector, stage lighting, copier, fax machine, cell phones, computers, email and social media, this list goes on. In the 1920’s it was not uncommon for families to own only one television set where today many families own several. Today’s choices for new technology are many and can sometimes seem overwhelming. The decision to buy into new technologies depends on the needs and perceived benefits of the church.
Believed Benefits of Technology and Church
- Technology keeps members connected between church gatherings.
- Technology can improve fundraising efforts.
- Technology saves time (sending out one e-mail vs. calling 100 people).
- Churches can provide gospel content to more people.
Believed Trade-Offs of Technology and Church
- Technology could replace real life relationships when real/live support might be needed.
- Technology changes things. Change isn’t always easy to accept.
- The cost of new technology may not be in the budget of the church.
While we think about the effects of technology and the church, take a look at this infographic that gives you the lowdown on how, why and what about technology and the church. Tyndale University College and Seminary conducted a survey in 2011 to see how Ontario churches are meshing with technology. Research includes 368 churches. Churches ranged in size from 20 – 5,000 members. The illustration below reveals their findings.
What I took from the infographic is that in today’s modern society some churches feel that technology brings more worshipers and reaches more people while others have more traditional beliefs and feel that technology is costly and can become impersonal. It seems that the wave is heading in the direction of technology. However, many people still believe that there are limitations to its uses.
What are your thoughts on technology and the church? If you are using some new technology effectively at your church, would you like to share it?