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September 2, 2020
Today, we’re going to talk about technology, why churches should be using technology, and how that actually alleviates a lot of the pressure points that church leaders have running the church, doing the work of God, and making ministry work.
I’ll start with this:
Let technology be your friend. Don't be afraid of it. In fact, embrace it. I'm going to go over a couple of things today that I think are going to be very key in the role of technology.
First, technology saves time. If there is any area in church life that is a constant struggle, it’s that there are not enough hours in the day to get the things that you want to get done, and there's also not enough volunteers to get everything done.
What technology does in general is that it automates things. It does things behind the scenes that used to have to get done manually. Now you can automate those same things.One of the key reasons that you want to embrace technology is that it's going to save you time. As church leaders, you know you're constantly running out of time. That's the first reason why you want to embrace technology for your church.
Technology makes engagement to your church people—to the people that you're pastoring and leading—so much easier when you have the ability to communicate. We all know that the best way to communicate is face-to-face, talking to people in real life. That's the best form of communication in church life, no question. But you know what? You might have a couple of hours a week to see someone face-to-face, and if your church is growing and you've gone beyond a couple of hundred people, there's just no way as a church leader you are going to see every person. So you've got to use technology.
So whether it's email, text, whether using video, allowing the thought to use the technology available to be able to engage and touch your church outside of Sunday is a revolutionary idea. You have access to tools such as social media—which certainly has its place in the life of the church—but I'm talking about using those forms of communication that your church members are already engaged in. They're already engaged using your church app. They're already getting emails. They are already receiving text messages. For a church to be able to utilize that technology is really, really powerful. It's going to save time, which was our first key point. But then it's going to empower you to engage with the church beyond Sunday, which is what we all want.
The next thing is near and dear to my heart:
Technology can help financially.
The way we know that digital giving, mobile giving, online giving, are employed. they do a couple of things. First of all, it allows people to be generous because they want to be. It removes the impediment of not having to be in church to give. So when we give people a simple, easy mobile giving experience, we know giving goes up and it's not that you're getting people to do something more or extra or trick them into something they don't want to do. They actually want to give, but as the church we've made it very difficult for them to do that. It's check and cash in Sunday or nothing. That's where the technology is really profound. It's profound because people can be out of town in the middle of summer and make that contribution to your church.
The other way technology allows us to help people to give is the recurring anywhere, anytime in the mobile device. I can set up my recurring giving and I don't have to do anything else. That is probably the number one way that giving goes up: more and more people get on recurring giving on a mobile device. That is absolutely critical to balancing that budget, smoothing out those spikes and valleys, especially through summer months, weather-affected Sundays, holidays, and similar impediments to regular attendance. You can smooth that whole budgetary problem of seasonal giving out of your process by allowing the technology to do a lot of the heavy lifting there. Technology stabilizes your budget. There's no question and we have the data to back that up.
Technology extends the reach of the church. Using the digital distribution models and methods that we have now, we can actually use technology to evangelize, to reach our neighborhoods, and to reach our communities for Christ. There is an absolute revolution going on right now in the realm of YouTube. YouTube used to be funny cat videos and kind of goofy things that you'd go on and have a laugh at. That platform is becoming so effective, especially at reaching millennials. There are millennials, people under 35 that literally consume most of their media content on YouTube. They don't have cable, they don't listen to radio, they don't watch the news, they don't do anything, but they watch YouTube.
Embracing technology means you're going to embrace the mediums of where the people are. There's no use trying to use every medium to reach people because they're not there anymore. They've moved. The audience has moved. A lot of young people don't have cable. They don't watch television. So where are they? As a church communicator, wherever the people are, that's where I want to be. And they're on YouTube.
Part of the whole idea of embracing technology means that I'm going to embrace technology to reach the people and build my church and preach the gospel and demonstrate the goodness of Jesus and the local church through the platforms where they already are. Embracing technology is not just for the sake of using technology. It's actually to use it for our benefit and for the kingdom's benefit.
Embracing technology is great for the brand of the church—and not only your local church’s brand, but also the brand of Christianity being on that cutting-edge, doing things with excellence, doing things in such a way that present the gospel in a modern, powerful fashion. When the church embraces technology, we build the brand of the kingdom. But we also build the brand of our local church. And you might think, "Brand—what's brand got to do with anything, Dean?"
Actually, to a lot of younger people, brand matters. People become very brand loyal, and so building a great brand using technology is a very powerful thing and sets your church up for success.
So don't be afraid of technology. Embrace it. Use it to its fullest extent and it will grow your church.
Watch the full video of this episode here: https://get.tithe.ly/blog/church-specific-technology
Today on Modern Church Leader, Tithe.ly CEO Dean Sweetman explains why a new generation of church technology shows enormous potential for church growth (and how your church can benefit).
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