Technology and the Church

From: Monday Morning Insight

Mark Driscoll has said that every church will be cutting edge of some year. Some churches are the cutting edge of 2008. Others are the cutting edge of 1954. Yet others are the cutting edge of 1875. No matter what, your church is the cutting edge of ‘some’ year. Well, Barna just released a new study on churches and technology yesterday… and it finds that a full 35% of churches have not yet made the switch to any type of video projection…

Todd at Monday Morning Insight refers to George Barna’s most recent survey.  I thought I would take a different angle on this and look how it applies to churches under 100 (like Preston Wesleyan Church.)  I haved edited the report to reflect the small church and my notes will be in brackets.

Large Screens and Movie Clips

Two-thirds of Protestant churches (65%) now have a large screen projection system in their church that they use for services and other events.

The presence of a large-screen system is related to the church’s size and theology. The smaller a church is, the less likely it is to use such tools. Among churches that average less than 100 adults each week, only half (53%) have such systems. {We have just adopted this technology at Preston.]

Sending E-Mail Blasts

Sending email blasts to large groups of people or to the entire church body is common to a majority of Protestant churches (56%). Surprisingly, however, the prevalence of this practice has not budged since 2005. Small congregations are less likely to send out such blasts (47%) than are churches with 100 or more adults attending during a typical week (66%). [This is something that we have been doing for at least a year or two]

Internet Presence

About half of the small churches (48% of those drawing less than 100 adults) have a church website. [So far, so good, we are three for three]

One out of every four Protestant churches (26%) now has some presence on one or more social networking sites (such as MySpace). [Looks like we missed that one]

Podcasting has been adopted by one out of every six churches (16%). [No not using that one either, at least not right now.]

One-eighth of Protestant churches (13%) now have blog sites or pages through which people can interact with the thoughts posted by church leaders. [And you are reading mine right now.]

He also noted that small churches are less technology-friendly. “Many small churches seem to believe that new tools for ministry are outside of their budget range or may not be significant for a church of their size. It may be, though, that such thinking contributes to the continued small size of some of those churches.”

I looked over the list and feel pretty good about it. And I want to make a point that these are just tools to build the Kingdom, but they are important tools so that we can be relevant to the culture in which we try to minister.  Looks like I’ll have to continue to consider that podcasting thing — but what I would really like to explore is video streaming.  One of my new found friends at FLAME, put me on to as a way to stream both live and recorded video.  Again, tools to reach people for the Kingdom and that is my hearts desire.

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