Many church leaders and members feel nostalgia for traditional methods of worship. This is understandable, except that it often leads them to reject new technology which could possibly encourage young members to embrace the church in greater numbers.
To highlight the importance of embracing modern methodologies in the faith community, I’ve put together some key ways technology can help spread the gospel.
1. LED Lighting
Most congregations have general lighting, but LED lighting is a recent trend that you should not overlook. One benefit, from an environmental standpoint, is that it consumes less energy. At the same time, it produces less heat output, which means it saves your church money while helping the environment. In addition, the LED lighting and color palette is simply a better experience for those sitting in the pews.
2. Sound Equipment
Historically, congregations have used analog sound systems, which provided little differentiation between mics and sound equipment for preaching, singing, and playing instruments. Today, sound equipment technology has advanced to the point where individual speakers are made with built-in equalizers to optimize the sound quality of each distinct input. In addition, the mixer has been upgraded to a digital board, which can be adjusted from a smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the room. This is very helpful for sound engineers because they no longer have to be locked into one placement. It also allows much more output, which means the person on the pulpit has a tremendous amount of control over their volume, tone, and timbre.
During the moment of giving or generosity, we now have the ability to allow members of the congregation to use text messages to contribute financially directly from their smartphones. It’s easy and it’s confidential. A side benefit is that people give more.
4. Giving Kiosks
At one point, people referred to these as “ATM Machines,” but they’re not—they’re actually computer systems with point-of-sale access points that accept credit or debit cards. Typically, they sit in any church’s lobby area, where users can simply insert or swipe their card, input the amount, and get immediate feedback or appreciation for their donations.
5. Online Giving
Online giving technology can be used by people sitting in worship or people participating remotely anywhere in the world. Just like text-to-give and giving kiosks, this allows people to give safely and securely with credit or debit cards, as well as allow real-time appreciation and accounting.
6. Projection Technology
Many churches continue to struggle with projection technology, either because it can’t be accommodated by their physical space, or because they believe it’s inappropriate to have screens or projectors in a place of worship. However, we find that this technology is beneficial in a number of ways. It helps regular churchgoers who may struggle to read smaller fonts in the Bible or from a hymn book. For those who aren’t regularly a part of the faith community—and may not be well-versed in certain songs or Bible texts—it helps them avoid having to flip through literature because they don’t know song numbers, song names, or the location of a particular book in the Bible.
7. Church Management Software
Church management software (ChMS) helps retain a database of attendees. On a given Sunday, a first-time guest can sign into a management system, which inputs their information into the software. Then, the church can respond with a thank you note or video, as well as record their giving so they can be appreciated throughout the year. In addition, it can also be used to help volunteers sign-up for different areas of ministry.
iPads are particularly helpful for checking in children. Using a touchscreen, parents can easily check-in their child when they arrive at church. Then, the information is sent to a printer, which provides a badge that includes the child’s name, emergency contact information, and any allergies the child may have.
9. Square Readers and Point-of-Sale Equipment
Point-of-sale equipment is especially great for coffee or snack areas. These digital readers allow people to make purchases, from a cup of coffee to a tee-shirt, using cash, check, credit or debit cards. It also allows them to register and pay for events.
There you have nine great ways to help spread the Gospel with technology. What would you add to the list?