Technology for the Church

I have been involved in many discussions about media and the church. Most of these conversations center around the use of media in worship. While worship is the central communal aspect of the church, the conversation about how technology can be used to enhance the ministries and mission of the church needs to go beyond the sanctuary. Note that I said “enhance the ministries and mission of the church” and that I did not say “replace the ministries and mission of the church.” No technological advancement will ever be able to replace the need for the touch or presence of another human being.

That being said, what are some ways that technology can be used outside of the sanctuary:

1. Document Sharing. A lot of committe time can be consumed by sitting around a table reading documents and then editing the document just read. Save people’s time by posting the document online where it can be read and edited by the group before the group meets. This would be great for by-laws, budgets, or even the weekly bulletin.

2. Web Cams. Most computers come equipped with a webcam today and the software is now user friendly as well. Members of committees wouldn’t have to leave their own home if the committee meetings were held via the webcam. Another option would be to have members of the committee who couldn’t meet the group in person chime in via their webcam.

3. Text Messaging. Why not send daily or weekly devotionals to church members using text messaging. There are many services now that allow an individual to send numerous text messages at the same time. Wouldn’t it be great if congregants could get messges on their cellphone

4. Twitter. Twitter describes itself as a service that lets others know “What are you doing?” Aren’t churches constantly trying to get information out about what is going on at church. Why not use Twitter to remind congregants of activities, programs, and ministries that are happening at the church.

These are only a few of the ways that technology can be used by the church. What are some of the ways that you or your congregation use technology?

7 thoughts on “Technology for the Church

  1. Boy have you hit a passion for me! A few of the things we are doing and some other ideas (as well as specific recommendations).

    1. I agree with this idea. We found using a team approach to planning worship was difficult. We now use worshipplanning.com. Everyone can dialogue about the service, share ideas and the leaders can add or change elements online giving us an “up-to-the-minute” document to confer on. Sunday morning we just print out the final cue sheet for all the leadership to have and follow. I know you were taking it out of the worship setting, but this is a great example of how this kind of idea could save HOURS of meeting time.

    2. Our student ministry uses txtsignal.com to do exactly what you are referring to. We send out event reminders, reminders about upcoming deadlines and send out daily devotionals via texts. (You can type them months ahead and set a specific day and time for them to be sent.)

    3. Parents are always concerned about students when they are away on trips. This summer we did not allow students to take cell phones with them to Passport, so parents were more “concerned” than ever. We used Twitter to post up to the minute updates on where we were and what we were doing. With additional apps you can even Twitter pics and videos taken from your phone.

    4. Last year we began using DynaCal as our way to calendar and process building use and equipment use requests. Linked to our website, it now means that our old never really accurate website calendar is instantly updated as soon as it is changed in the office. Members can also follow church events they are interested in by using RSS feeds and Microsoft Office vcal downloads. We even have it configured to automatically send staff e-mails on Sunday of all the upcoming events for the week. We went from having long discussions in staff on calendaring issues from now only needing to discuss mistakes that are found that need to be resolved. (We also are sent monthly e-mails the first day of the month as well.) Our secretary no longer has to type endless events again into publications. She can simply copy an RSS feed and she has all the info she needs.

    5. Next month we (student ministry) will begin using a Facebook Appplication that we had designed for us ($45). The app pulls event info from our church calendar and lists them along with info to everyone on Facebook that adds the app. The info appears on their profiles so it will not only be a way to remind students (and parents) of events, but to promote it to those other teen friends as they look at our students profiles.

    These are just a few of the things we are doing. Would love to hear of others.

    Dale Tadlock

  2. I set up a Twitter account for our church and have a Twitter badge on our website so that any really up to date stuff is right there on the front page of the site. We also have set up a calendar on Google calendar so that any staff or ministry team members can add an event as needed. Another great ministry we have started is making sermons available via podcast. This is a great way for people to catch a sermon they missed or listen again to a sermon they really enjoyed.

  3. One effective use of technology during worship is showing dual keyboards on split screen during piano/organ duets. Adding the clean visual to the sound enhances the experience.

  4. Pingback: Churches do care about technology! « Technology for Churches

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