Change is inevitable, and technology is continuously changing. Regardless if you are a digital dinosaur still using a flip phone, or early adopter with the latest apps on your iPhone 11, change is coming. A few years ago, I walked out of the Apple store a little embarrassed. My iPod Nano was beyond repair because it was deemed "vintage and "nearly obsolete" by an Apple Tech as my iPod Nano was over six years old. When recently sharing this story with a friend, my thoughts turned to the local American church. I began to wonder If the local church's intentional or unintentional resistance to change labeled them as "vintage and nearly obsolete."
The Message and the Means
As a follower of Christ, who is deeply involved in the church, I will never believe God's Church will become obsolete. As someone who has worked for parachurch organizations for the last 15 years, I can see how the church can receive such a defeating label by the outside world, especially among the younger generations. In Dr. Steve McSwain's article "Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church" said, "Instead of embracing the technology and adapting their worship experiences to include the technology, scores of traditional churches, mainline Protestant, and almost all Catholic churches do not utilize the very instruments that, without which, few Millennials would know how to communicate or interact"; however, I would suggest it does not have to be this way.
The message of the church has not changed, but how your church communicates the message is always changing. What is your church's strategy for communicating your unique mission to an increasingly digital world? As a church leader, you are likely facing a critical technological tipping-point. For most, the choice to invest and integrate technology into their physical building and digital platforms comes down to two factors: money and time.
Money That Makes Sense
As a church budget thins, the IT and website budgets are often one of the first things most decision-makers seek to trim. However, I believe it to be unwise when you consider 85% of all physical visitors go to your church website before attending your services in person. Also, keeping your technology up-to-date and running is critical for your internal processes and external communications as a church. When you consider the return on investment, you will immediately see the value is much higher than most other expenditures.
Time is Ticking Away
If asked, I think most church leaders wish they had a little more time in the week. We understand the pressures of ministry. We know updating and upgrading your website or internal systems and computers is something you want to do. However, for most updating your website moves from being a priority to a neglected core element of your communication strategy. The problem with most do-it-yourself approaches is that it requires additional time and energy to complete. As technology advances learning curves tend to increase and only compound the time dilemma.
Asking the Hard Questions
Is your church at the tipping point of being "vintage and nearly obsolete"? For your convenience, here are a few questions for you and other church leaders to consider. The following are some website questions to discuss with your staff and volunteers.
- When was the last time you viewed your website?
- When did you last updated your entire website?
- Does your website work for you, please explain?
The following are some IT questions to discuss with your staff and volunteers.
- How old are the machines you are using?
- How effective is your Wi-Fi network?
- Do you have anxiety about the safety and security of your data?
At MinistryCraft, we know technology. Next Tuesday we will be celebrating 20 years of service. Our team of experts is ready to move your church into the 21st century. Follow the Start Today link below to get the process started.