Oftentimes, we can make some very bold statements about how churches feel about technology, what they value, or what tools they are prioritizing. But instead of relying on assumptions to answer, Pushpay decided to ask the technology decision-makers and influencers themselves who are figuring out how to harness technology to help them meet their ministry needs.
Together We Discover The State of Church Technology
They just released the 2021 State of Church Technology Report which compiles feedback from almost 2000 churches from across the country and faith spectrum. This comprehensive study captures the priorities, concerns, and near-term expectations of the people most responsible for meeting their church’s needs with technology. The results come from a wide swath of churches, from all over the US.
3 Ways Technology Impacts the Church
1. Technology is Essential to the Church‘s Mission
Every statistic points toward the idea that church leaders have fully embraced technology, especially in the wake of the pandemic. First and foremost, the study found that 93% of churches believe technology plays an important role in achieving their church‘s mission.
“The last part of that statement is what I feel is so interesting about these results,” said Pushpay CEO Molly Matthews. “Not just that tech is important, but that it's important for churches to achieve their missions. That's important to us. It's why we come to work every day, and why we want to equip church leaders with more information.”
Churches are leveraging all kinds of different tools and technologies, but social media, digital giving, live streaming, church management software, and texting are among the top that are currently being most invested in to ensure the church community is growing. Once you dig into the details of the report, however, it's clear that church leaders see their digital futures evolving over time. According to the survey, the tech tools of today are not the tools of tomorrow.Church leaders are leveraging social media, digital giving, live streaming, ChMS, and texting to ensure the faith community is growing. Click To Tweet
Looking ahead: 3 Digital Ministry Stats To Direct Your Strategy
2. Digital Church Is Here To Stay
Even churches that are meeting in-person again are still livestreaming because many people are more comfortable joining an online community.
Additionally, churches have found that digital worship can actually bring in people who might never have stepped foot in the door in the first place.
“If we go back pre-pandemic, if we're being really honest, there was always that hard step-foot-in-the-door moment for people. Digital church can now be that front door. Someone can experience the community and say ‘I see people who look like me,' ‘That feels safe,' ‘I love that message,' or ‘I feel like I could belong,' and then they can take that next step to join the community in-person,” said Matthews.
The quality of your livestream experience matters, too. Our culture is engaging with video content at a higher rate than any other type, so it's critical for the church to keep up and lean in.
Giving stats: 10 Stats About How Churches Are Faring Regarding Giving
3. Security Is Important — To A Point
Seventy-seven percent of churches say that security and data protection is extremely important and yet only 19% say that security and data protection concerns prevented or somewhat prevented them from making a technology purchase.
This means security isn't currently in the consideration set for most churches evaluating software—and that could be a risk.
“It's such an honor that people in the church community are sharing their information-about their kids, their finances, where they live, phone numbers, and email addresses. So, as a company, we put a tremendous amount of value on and invest heavily in security to protect that trusted relationship,” said Matthews.
Advancing The Church With Technology
The message and mission of the Church will never change, but the tools to help move the mission forward have evolved. It's time to take advantage of them.