Ed Stetzer is a guy I pay attention to. His leadership and insight has brought a lot of value to both paid and unpaid church leaders. He recently posted about the positive connection between technology and faith. Of course, I had to check that one out!
Ed listed twelve but three really stood out to me:
- Online community and discipleship
Perhaps greater than any other benefit of the internet is the human connection it affords. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. have helped us overcome the barriers that distance and geography can create. Sometimes its just not practical to be at every small group meeting or participate in every weekend experience. An online community allows your church to stay connected even when they aren’t on campus. I just learned yesterday that Northland, A Church Distributed developed a Roku channel to deliver live and on demand worship and teaching as a part of their global church planting strategy. Wow!
- Follow conferences you don't attend
I am at Exponential this week and so are many others. However, the economy has forced so many church leaders to get selective about the events we attend. Technology allows us to stay connected to the ones we can't get to in a variety of ways. Exponential offers live simulcasting. Earlier this year, I was impressed with the mobile app churchplanters.com created for the Velocity Conference. It allows you to leverage the content whether you missed it or you simply want to revisit a breakout session that really impacted you.
- Promotion of events
The Web provides incredible opportunity to promote events and make it easy for anyone to register. Through your church management software and social media, someone who misses a weekend gathering is not completely out of the loop. Further, someone who might be curious about your church, might hear about an event they are interested in. It could be a doorway into another life waiting to be changed by the gospel.
Technology and faith are a game-changing combination. It's often life change and the impact of our faith that draws an unbelieving world toward Christ. Technology allows those things to extend far beyond the four walls of the church and into the communities we hope to reach. Our ability to embrace and adopt technology can determine the reach of our ministry and the depth of the community we foster.
What about technology and faith gets you excited? How are you creatively using technology to build community in your church?