Many churches already use technology in real ways. Digital tools enhance everything from evangelism to ministry. How is God working through this “new medium” at your church?
For example, how many people correspond with your church primarily, even solely, through e-mail? If it is a large percentage, consider giving folks more of what they want. Some people might actually prefer to be e-mailed than visited, and would rather come to your Web site than your building.
Check into e-mailing newsletters, memos and reminders. The postage savings alone make this digital project more than ministry. It will be good stewardship too!
Is everyone aware of the church’s technology? Your Web site and staff e-mail addresses ought to appear alongside the church phone number. Put them on business cards, in bulletins and on letterhead. It’s not necessary to spend thousands updating the church materials right away, but work toward it.
It might even be appropriate to offer an “information session” on the church’s technology. A quick walk-through on the Web site or explanation of the e-newsletter will improve the use of digital tools.
Budgets matter for church ministries, and they can aid a technological ministry as well. How does your church pay for Internet service? How about Web hosting and computer repair?
Many churches pull money from a generic “office expenditures” budget line. Want people to notice your technological efforts? Add technology to the budget! Create a specific budget line item for technical ministry tools, breaking it up like any other item. And use the money for its intended purpose; doing so will build instant credibility with church members.
As many as 3 million people log on to the Internet every day looking for “spiritual material.” More people read their e-mail than they do their postal mail. Many folks use electronic calendars to remember business meetings and Bible studies.
The God of the burning bush and the still small voice now uses Web sites and e-mails to reach people. For many churches, the issue of technology is no longer “if” but “how.”
Shane Nixon is Web servant for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.