Relationships trump technology ... every time

The firm grasp of a handshake.
The instant connection of an exchanged glance.
The warm smile on a familiar face.

While I’m a huge advocate of technology, nothing compares to genuine human interaction. I have personally seen relationships in the church go south because no one reached out to someone who went missing. Our hearts need to know that we matter in our relationships. Technology can help us see when people are slipping away and then proactively reach out to them. Do you think that might help a church maintain better relationships? I do!

In a related post over on sundaymag.tv, Jason Young discussed the temptation to get rid of volunteers in favor of adopting technology. He pointed out why we are tempted to replace real humans with technology and also why human interaction is irreplaceable.

Here are a few of Jason’s thoughts from the article:

Why is technology advocated over human interaction?

  • Provides a choice
  • Reduces staff
  • Gives the impression of speed

Why is human interaction advocated over technology?

  • Provides staff another touch point with people
  • Reduced confusion
  • Infuses positive emotional meaning into a memorable experience

So while technology absolutely should be adopted to improve our systems, processes, and our end goal of making disciples, where do you find the balance?

Young pointed out four areas to consider when you think things might be out of balance:

  • Your church culture
  • Your attendee demographic
  • You as the leader
  • Your volunteers

With those four areas in mind, consider asking and answering these questions to determine if/how technology is getting in the way of making human connections:

  • How much does your average church member utilize technology?
  • How user-friendly is your technology?
  • Can your technology optimize the guest experience?
  • Are your volunteers well trained in the technology?
  • Does your technology enhance your connectedness to people in the church?

Technology should accelerate our ability to create genuine relationships and build authentic community. If it’s not, then we’re either not using it the right way or missing the point completely.

Have you been tempted to replace people with technology? How can we use technology to enhance person-to-person ministry?

Topics: This entry was posted in Leadership Roles, This entry was posted in Administrative Support, This entry was posted in Discipleship Ministry, This entry was posted in Connections Ministry

Posted by Steve Caton on Sep 17, 2012 11:22:09 PM