The technological-ification of the church is a huge issue, and every congregation and every pastor needs to take advantage of technology in order to enable the church’s mission.
I believe technology is a resource that we can use for God’s glory. Here’s three ways technology enables the church’s mission.
1. Technology Enables Communication
Through Facebook and Twitter or through a church blog, I can easily communicate directly with the people in my congregation, throughout the day and week.
For example, I have a full-time job with LifeWay, so I am able to pastor a church by preaching, meeting with the staff, and leading a small group in my home.
That’s all I can physically do. But I can pastor my church all throughout the week through social media and digital technology.
Technology enables the congregation easily to have direct communication with me, and I can have communication with them on a broader and a clearer scale.
Ongoing communication through technology helps the mission of the church. In fact, as I told Leadership Journal only half-jokingly, pastors who aren’t on Twitter need to repent.
2. Technology Enables Community
Technology allows a greater sense of community that doesn’t demand proximity. Proximity isn’t required for community.
For example, you can sit next to each other week after week and never talk. But through technology, people in our church are praying for each other thanks to our church Facebook page.
Sometimes they already know each other, but at other times they meet one another through Facebook.
Social media is where younger generations are interacting. It's the new marketplace. It may be unnatural for past generations, but it is how community for younger people is now started and developed.
Through social media, a new attendee can connect to other church members before he or she ever has a chance to meet at a church gathering or a small group.
Of course, true community requires feet and faces and not just electrons and avatars. But those electrons and avatars can be tools to bring people into closer community with feet and faces.
This is a big shift in how we interact, but we have to use it if we want to enable community for the sake of the mission of the church.
3. Technology Enables Discipleship
Our church has an app where people can actually access the sermon outline, and people use their phones or iPads to follow along and take notes. Technology enables members and attendees to enhance their discipleship experience at church.
During certain series, we have encouraged our people to tweet questions in the middle of services, and we try to answer them.
All of these are tools to enhance discipleship. Technology, though, is not the goal. The goal is to enable the church’s mission to make disciples of all people groups.
Find the Benefits of Technology
There are unintended side effects of technology that are both de-personalizing and dehumanizing. But there are some wonderful benefits of technology that enable the mission of the church.
Use technology in your church to enable communication, community and discipleship.