Technology and the Church: What You Need to Know

In the past, the church could advertise in traditional ways (newspaper ads, radio spots, the church sign), and people would come in for special services or weekly gatherings. But that model of passive evangelism has changed in light of technological advancements. 

While the general population has leaned into using smartphones, checking out websites and listening to podcasts for many years, the church has been slower to adapt its practices to the changing technological reality. Recently, the pandemic forced many established churches to find creative ways to see technology as a tool to enhance their services and mission. 

While some church members may be hesitant to switch to certain technologies, church leaders need to remember three benefits that new tech can add to their church.

  1. Tech Connects Community With the Church.

As their communities have radically changed over the years, many churches have failed to build connections. Fortunately, technology offers a new way to establish relationships. As churches have leaned into technology, they have learned that the new front door is the church’s website, where community members review the church before they attend a service. A well-designed website that addresses guests’ questions on the church’s physical address, service times, dress code, expectations of service, and child care, increases the likelihood of hosting new guests weekly. 

  1. Tech Enhances the Worship Experience.

As the pandemic set in, churches leaned into livestreaming their services. They found ways to share their services through smartphones and free social media platforms. Over time, these churches have seen the value of having specialized equipment to enhance the quality of their broadcast, sound and experience. However, there are other tools many worship centers still need to implement in order to improve the worship experience and connect better with guests and regular members.

Things like online tithing services, QR codes to capture guests’ information, easy-and-fast kids’ ministry check-in tools, and social media options for guests to view the services are needed as the church faces the new technological frontier. 

  1. Tech Supports the Mission. 

Throughout the centuries, the church has had to adapt to the changing dynamics of culture, and today is no different. The pandemic has helped the church realize that the mission is not confined to Sunday morning, and that technology can help move our mission forward. New technology is not a fad—each technological advancement becomes a new hub for spreading the gospel message in the future.

The church has found a new voice through audio and video podcasts to share the gospel relationally. New platforms are used every day for online Bible studies, staff meetings and counseling sessions. The church’s mission has not changed, but the advent of radio, television and now the internet has enhanced the broadcast of the mission like never before. 

Instead of resisting technology, churches should embrace the new way forward to expand their mission as a local church called to reach their community and beyond.

Desmond Barrett is an author and lead pastor at Summit Church of the Nazarene in Ashland, Kentucky.

Desmond Barrett
Desmond Barrett
Desmond Barrett is the lead pastor at Winter Haven First Church of the Nazarene in Winter Haven, Florida. He is the author of several books, most recently, Helping the Small Church Win Guests: Preparing To Increase Attendance (Wipf & Stock Publications) and has done extensive research in the area of church revitalization and serves as church revitalizer, consultant, coach, podcast host and mentor to revitalizing pastors and churches.