Many churches are now finding the use of technology will greatly change how they reach people not only in their community, but around the world. But of course, the churches have always been using technology, I don’t want you to think that it is since recently with the introduction of social media sites like Facebook, projectors, emails, internet access, YouTube and so forth, but the church have been using technology through history with the use of papyrus, printing press, piano, organ, lighting, microphones, guitars, and drums. These are all forms of technology.
However, many churches have the wrong concept of the use of technology in the church. For this article I would like to dispel 4 myths of the use of technology in the church.
- “Technology could replace real-life relationships.”
Many thing that technology will replace real-life relationships. Though we spend less times interacting physically with others in recent years due to the preference for the use of online technology like Facebook instead of face-to-face interaction; technology does not have to replace real-life relationships. With proper management and educating your members, technology can be use to enrich real-life relationships. With technology, we are no longer restricted to face to face communication, but technology now enables a person to communicate with more people in more ways without being constrained by time and space.
- “If you build it, they will come.”
Another myth is that if you build it, then people will come. That is not always the way it is. It could be a website, a blog, a discussion board, a podcast, a Twitter feed, or a Facebook fan page, this does not mean that people will automatically start flooding your digital presence. For people to start viewing your website, downloading your podcast, checking out and engaging with you on Social Media and so forth, you have to make set it up in such a way that people will want to interact with you and these platforms. The truth is, people choose what they will pay attention to based on relevance (to their situation), value (that enhances their life), and trust (derived from the reputation of the content provider or a trusted friend who points them that way). Your online presence will need to be mentioned often using traditional media as well as word of mouth.
- “Only the younger generation uses social networking.”
Another myth on the use of technology is that only younger generation uses, and will use social network sites. That couldn’t be further from the truth. According to one study, 64 percent of people that uses Twitter and 61 percent of Facebook’s users are age 35 or older. Furthermore, according to another study by The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 38 percent of adults 65 and older are online. You may have to provide training for using online tools that best serve your existing community.
- “It doesn’t cost anything.”
True, some online tools don’t cost anything to use, but that is not the case for all form of technology as some technology can cost you money in training and setting up. Similarly, the cost may not be in money, but there’s the recurring cost of energy to produce fresh and relevant content to post on your website, social media page and so forth. You will also need to find new ways of connecting with your community and to engage them effectively.
If you haven’t implement technology in your church, it’s never too late to start incorporating technology as part of your church’s ministry. You are missing out on a lot of opportunity connecting with people whose lives are technology-infused the longer it takes you to start implementing technology in your church ministry.