Many churches don’t spend much time thinking about technology—unless it’s not working properly. Decisions about church technology are usually put off until something breaks or fails regularly. At that point, the decision about what to do next is often delegated to someone who understands tech lingo rather than someone who knows how technology actually needs to help people accomplish the mission of the church.
My team recently created a humorous video called, “Time for new church management software?” Whenever we’re approached by a church who’s considering an update to their church management software, our goal is to challenge them and help them think strategically through every technological element possible.
It’s interesting to me how often people think this is unnecessary. They either believe it to be a waste of their time or they don’t want to “go there” until they know how much they are going to spend. The problem with either approach is that it treats technology as a commodity like the paper in your copier rather than a powerful tool that empowers people and supports ministry process. But, I get it. It’s a lot of work to be strategic with technology. It’s much easier to just go with the cheapest option or the one your buddies use.
Just to be fair, let’s explore the outcomes of the faster, more efficient, less strategic approach.
- You will miss opportunities to connect with people.
Technology can be used to help us remember what we know about people in our church. Churches that don’t think strategically about their technology miss out on the opportunity to effectively communicate with members based on their gifts, interests, personality traits, and favorite causes.
Assuming you’re not okay with that, here are a few ways technology can help you communicate more effectively.
- You will make decisions that are not completely informed.
If you don’t have technology that records important metrics, your church won’t be able to make the most informed decision possible for ministry.
If you’re wondering how technology can help keep you informed for better decision-making, here are 10 ways.
- You will miss out on opportunities to cultivate generosity.
Technology has become an essential element for churches that want to cultivate generosity within the congregation. It also helps you justify how you steward the resources given to your church. Failing to be strategic in this area will potentially reduce your ministry potential.
Here’s just one way your church can cultivate generosity by using technology.
With the proper technology, you can avoid a potential financial crisis and clearly communicate why your church invests your resources in certain areas.
- You will rely on your gut when it comes to your growth patterns and potential.
Without thinking strategically about your technology, you miss the opportunity to record and analyze the important data that illustrates the growth pattern of your congregation.
Technology enables your church to create numerous waves of momentum instead of getting stuck in an uncomfortable spot without a plan.
- People will leave your church and you won’t know why.
Not thinking strategically about your technology can have a significant impact on how well you are connecting with first-time guests and what you learn from those who don’t return.
People want to know they matter and feel a sense of belonging. Technology helps you avoid becoming a catch and release ministry.
- Personalized growth is limited.
Without thinking strategically about how technology can hep us be more personal, your church misses an opportunity to help each member grow in his or her own way.
Now more than ever, churches have the opportunity to invest in people based on personalities and traits.
- Community within your church won’t thrive.
How can we expect authentic community and care to happen in the absence of accurate information?
While I may have taken more of a cynical angle on this topic than some would like, it is only meant to drive home my point that technology in the church can be so much more than it often is. Taking the time to be strategic with it won’t be easy or fast but it’s so worth it!
Is technology an important part of your church’s overall strategy to reach people? How do you ensure you’re staying on the forefront?