U.S. Protestants are increasingly using technology in their ministries, according to a LifeWay Research report released on Jan. 9.

In 2017, 84 percent of Protestant pastors surveyed said that their churches maintained a website, a 6-point increase from 2010.

The leading goals for these websites were to “provide information to potential visitors to our church” (99 percent), to “provide information to our congregation” (94 percent) and to “solicit interest in ministry or volunteer opportunities” (71 percent).

These levels are up from 91 percent, 79 percent and 52 percent in 2010, respectively.

While more congregations are using websites, fewer are updating them more than once a month.

Fifty percent of congregations say their websites are updated once a month or less (up from 42 percent in 2010), with 49 percent updating their sites once a week or more (down from 55 percent) and 1 percent saying they are not sure (down from 4 percent).

Only 36 percent of surveyed congregations use their websites for online giving in 2017, but this is a 22-point increase since 2010.

Social media usage has risen overall since 2010, with Facebook leading the charge – moving from 47 percent of churches using this platform in 2010 to 84 percent in 2017.

By comparison, 16 percent of pastors surveyed say their churches have a Twitter account, and 13 percent have an Instagram account.

The full report is available here.

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