Leadership

5 Common Barriers to Technology Adoption in Your Church

Leadership

5 Common Barriers to Technology Adoption in Your Church

Introducing new technology into your church can improve efficiency, increase productivity, and make your life a whole lot easier. But getting your church on board with new technology can be challenging.

From introducing new online giving tools to providing check-in Kiosks for your children’s ministry, you will run into common barriers to technology adoption in your church.

To help you overcome these potential obstacles, here are the most common barriers to adopting technology you’ll come up against in your church.

#1. Lack of leadership

Is the leadership of your church on board with your proposal?

If not, then you won’t get far.

Getting the approval and support of your church’s leadership to introduce new technology to your church is vital. Without their help, you won’t be able to move forward, or, if they’re not excited, then their support will wane after the initial launch, which means your project is doomed to fail from the beginning.

Before you can remove any of the other barriers to adopting technology, you have to get your church’s leadership on board first.

#2. Lack of influence

Influence takes on many forms in the life of your congregation. From the influence of the senior pastor, pastoral staff, support staff, volunteers, and peers, several influential tributaries are pouring into the life of your church.

When introducing new technology, it’s essential to leverage many forms of influence. Whether you’re leading a church or business, it takes more than the direction of one person to drive people to accept change.

Before launching any new technology, spend time rallying the support of your church’s leadership, staff, and key volunteers first. Help them to use the technology. Answer their questions. Get their feedback.

Assuming the technology you’re introducing is looked upon favorably by your leadership, then you can expect their influence to trickle down to their circle of influence and beyond. What is more, this group will be able to answer any questions and even help people in your church use the new technology.

#3. Lack of awarenesses

Does anyone in your church know about your new technology?

Did you create a new website? Do you offer mobile giving?

Regardless of what new technology you’re introducing, you’ll need to let people know it’s available. To do this, you’ll need to launch it to your church initially, and then you’ll have to promote it throughout the year continually.

Related: How to Quickly Create a Communication Strategy for Your Church

It can take people in your church hearing the same message several times before deciding to use the technology you’re promoting.

From weekly announcements and PowerPoint promotions to your church’s newsletter and posters in your foyer, there are many ways you can create awareness for your new technology.  

#4. Lack of trust

Trust is essential for the adoption of technology. If someone in your church doesn’t trust the technology you’re promoting, then they won't use whatever you’re pushing.

For building trust in technology, you’ll not only have to take into consideration the specific tool you’re recommending. But you’ll have to keep in mind other roadblocks people may have with the type of technology you’re using.

For example, with online giving, the members of your church may not be comfortable with using their banking information online and prefer using cash or checks when donating. If you use Tithe.ly, then you can let your people know that our security is on par with leading financial services and banking institutions.

Whatever technology you use, you’ll have to identify the common objections and let people know how they can overcome them.

#5. Lack of desire

The goal of technological advancements is to serve people. They should make life easier, empower individuals and communities, or solve a problem.

Before someone in your church is willing to adopt new technology, they’ll want to know what’s in it for them.

Every day, the people in your church are exposed to a litany of promotional offers and the latest device or app, and they’re not inclined just to use anything new.

When rolling out your new tool, it’s essential to answer these questions:

  • Why should a member of my church use this tool?
  • How will they benefit from this technology?
  • Will it make their life easier?
  • Does it empower them to live for Jesus?

Knowing how the members of your church will benefit from the technology you’re introducing is crucial. Being able to connect the felt needs of your church will help you to lead them to adopt new technology.

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

01
Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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5 Common Barriers to Technology Adoption in Your Church

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

LEARN MORE
Sign Up