Written and Media by Kelsey Neier.
Do you remember going to church as a kid and seeing your pastor preaching on a big screen? Do you remember seeing colored lights glow behind him as he stood on a large stage and preached the word? Would you have even thought something that looked like that could be considered a church? In 2016, we see mega churches and churches of all denominations popping up around the country. Some churches like the Catholic church still have a traditional look and feel, and would not dare to bring an electric guitar or drum set in. However, more non denominational churches are now setting up worship with bass guitars, electric guitars, keyboards and drums. Being a digital media major, I see a lot of benefit from incorporating modern technology into the church.
1. Tech Enables Communication
The church congregation can now communicate quickly and efficiently through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They can create a Facebook group and message each other to schedule times and dates for upcoming events. It is a much quicker way to respond than through email. Facebook is a great way to get group members to talk about issues within the church and plan events.
2. Tech Enables Community
Through social media tools we are now able to further connect with the people in our church. Sometimes your sit next to the same people every week and never talk to them. Facebook allows you to find out more information about the people at your church, and can help start conversations and friendships within your church. It can also create prayer chains where the church community, and even those outside of the church can help pray for loved ones. Community through media helps us learn about and interact with our church members.
3. Tech Enables Discipleship
There are many churches like my church ROLFC that now have an app for their church. The message is right at your fingertips through their app and website. You are able to listen to the newest sermon your pastor preached, as well as older ones that you may refer back to when needed. You can also decide if a church is a good fit for you by finding out more information about them online. Many of us now have the Bible app on our phones and tablets, and can follow along with the scripture on our electronic devices.
4. Tech Enables Productivity
Online giving has been popular at mega churches and even growing churches like The Bridge here in Greenville. We can now automate our giving without having to bring cash or write out a check. We can swipe our card or set up a weekly or monthly direct deposit for giving. This is extremely easy and convenient. There are also apps that pastors and church members can use to take notes and read scripture such as Bible Study, Calendar 2 and Prayer Notes. Apps can help the members of your church plan and schedule upcoming events and make sure things are flowing smoothly.
5. Tech Enables Outreach
We are able to see firsthand how the members of our church are helping people in third world countries, and even around our town. Facebook live and 360 video now show us what is going on in real time from several angles. We can see our church members helping feed the hungry, and putting shoes and new clothing on children in Haiti. Photography and video play an important role in outreach. God created us to have many emotions, and we like to see stories of people helping those who are poor, broken, homeless or abused. Pictures and video allow us to share a powerful story not only to our church community, but to the world. We can see problems first hand, and bring awareness to major issues that are affecting the lives of so many people in other countries.