Encouraging technology adoption among skeptical churchgoers can be complicated for any church. Users have varied experience, and even more varied reasons for their hesitancy. Some are total rookies, others don’t see the benefits. Many are simply afraid of pushing the wrong button and “breaking” something, or worse – afraid of even trying something new.
Onboarding members effectively is something any church can do, especially if the tech is intuitive, integrated, and easy-to-use. While there will always be a subset of people who are fearful or uninterested, churches should generally shoot for full adoption as much as possible.
Here are 3 creative ways your church can encourage technology adoption among your hesitant churchgoers:
1. Do a tech walk-through before or after service.
Before we dig into this first idea, I want to point out that in-service and post-service walkthroughs will work best with mobile technology. Here’s a few examples of the types of technology you can easily onboard in-service:
- Mobile giving platform
- Church management software
- Online community
- Church app
Here’s a few types of technology that won’t work as well:
- Tech that only works on desktop (if the technology your church utilizes isn’t mobile-friendly, you should probably find new tech)
- TV integrations or TV apps
2-Step Walk-Through To Boost Technology Adoption
While it might seem out of the norm for some more traditional churches, I can’t recommend enough how helpful it is to take 10–15 minutes when everyone is already gathered in one place to introduce new tech and encourage technology adoption. Here’s how:
- Start with an intro video or presentation about why you’re adopting the technology as a church and what you hope it will accomplish for your community. Casting the vision is so important. Your congregation will be far more likely to prioritize church tech if they understand its purpose in fueling your church’s mission.
- Then, do a step-by-step walkthrough of the setup process so the people can follow the steps right there from their personal phones. It’s especially helpful if you’re able to use presentation software to show the steps on a big screen. Pro tip: You may also want to have a team of tech-savvy helpers stand up and strategically place themselves around the room as helpers. This way, those in need of help can easily flag someone down and get assistance during the walkthrough.
Read more: The Ultimate Church Tech Survival Guide
QR & TEXT-TO-ENGAGE CODES
Most church tech platforms have either a QR code or text-to-engage code you can use to help people get to the right links quickly from their phones. If you’re going to use a QR code, make sure you have them easily accessible to everyone in the room. You may want to print out cards for and place them around the room (on the backs of chairs or pews, for instance). And if you’re going with a text-to-engage code, you can easily display it on the big screen if you have one.
If you take the time to do this well, you can easily onboard most of the adults in your church all at once, and it’s definitely worth the effort. After all, it’s no use investing in new church tech if you can’t get anyone to use it. And imagine what you could do if you had near full adoption of your new technology right away!
2. Offer a manned help desk in your foyer to encourage technology adoption.
This next one is pretty simple: Set up a help desk in the foyer so people can stop by before or after the service to get help with onboarding or tech questions. Put the tech-savvy folks in your church to work doing something they love. I have heard of a few churches enlisting their youth groups to help with tech onboarding, and it’s usually a huge win.Looking for volunteers to man the technology help desk at church? Ask the professionals to help! (And by pros, we mean the teens.) Click To Tweet
However, keep in mind when mobile giving or other sensitive data is involved, you’ll need to ensure that data is truly secure. Volunteers shouldn’t be inputting credit card or ACH information for others. I would suggest having your help desk team do a thorough training, and you may even want to have your volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement. I also recommend having at least one adult present at the help desk at all times.
Your congregation will be thankful you’re prioritizing their data security, and doing so will help ease any additional apprehension around what may already be a confusing and complicated situation for your tech-challenged members.
3. Create a tech support team for on-demand help.
Finally, as a backup to the first two solutions and to assist with any ongoing tech issues, it’s a great idea to form a small tech support team who can assist people on an as-needed basis either over the phone or even in-person with a house call for the first few months of your roll-out. Over time, as you’ve onboarded most of the church, this team can gradually roll into one person’s responsibility.
FINDING THE BEST TECH SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS
Make sure this team has the patience for the job and is equipped with the right resources to contact when a phone or computer itself is the issue with getting connected.
Also, you’ll want to find a few different volunteers and divide up their availability by the days of the week or the hours of the day—whatever works best for your particular team. Make sure you have their contact information available in the bulletin each week so people know who to call when they get stuck.
To protect the personal information of your team, consider setting up a separate phone number and email address to use. This is easy to do using Google Voice and Google Apps or other similar tools.
Technology Adoption Is Key To Church Tech Success
We’ve just covered three ideas you can implement right away, and there are many more I haven’t mentioned here.
Whether you’ve already officially launched your church tech or if you’re just getting started, consider implementing at least one of these right away to help speed up technology adoption.
After all, as I mentioned above, church tech isn’t really helpful if nobody is using it. It’s not enough to turn it on. You also have to have a strategy for using it and a process for both casting the vision for why it matters and fully onboarding your congregation.