Churches who want to add technology to their services often face objections from long-time church members and leaders. There is a fear that technology makes the church less personal. But technology can help churches reach a larger audience and communicate better with their members. Thanks to new online platforms and tools, churches can also increase…
Churches who want to add technology to their services often face objections from long-time church members and leaders. There is a fear that technology makes the church less personal. But technology can help churches reach a larger audience and communicate better with their members. Thanks to new online platforms and tools, churches can also increase the impact of their mission and remain safe in an ever-changing world.
In this article, we share reasons your church should adopt new technology, which trends you can join, and how to include them in your day-to-day activities.
Adding technology to your church can be concerning and even frightening to some, but it has become a necessity in today’s world. By adding technology like virtual church and social media, your church has a better chance of reaching those around you and fulfilling your mission of spreading God’s word.
The following 4 reasons to adopt technology can be convincing for those in your church leadership who shy away from such changes.
1. Expand your audience
Technology advancements have helped businesses, nonprofits, and churches reach larger audiences and spread their mission farther than ever before. Thanks to social media, it also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Churches can use a few different ways to reach more people and spread God’s word.
Social media – If your church is not using social media to spread the word, you miss out on a large group of potential followers. With social media posts and ads, churches can spread the word about your church to people previously unreachable.
Virtual church – Virtual church was used before, but the pandemic has made this addition to churches a necessity. Thanks to virtual church additions, those who are home-bound, college students, and our servicemen and women can all view services and participate in church activities online.
Church apps – Church apps may not fit all churches, but they can increase participation and excite younger church members. Churches can add any number of things to their app, including links to the virtual church, information on Sunday school, volunteer opportunities, and prayer meetings, link to event pages, and daily bible verses and inspiration.
2. Easier to collaborate
Technology can be used to promote your church to new followers and communicate and connect better with the ones you already have. It helps build and strengthen relationships with many who could be lost in other circumstances.
Social media offers the chance for churches to find genuine supporters who will fundraise for the church with peer-to-peer and crowdfunding campaigns. These fundraisers can be a blessing to smaller churches that lack the time and money to fundraise on their own.
Church security systems and plans work more efficiently with technology. These tools allow church leaders and security teams to collaborate and offer security measures like logins and keyless entries.
3. Raise more funds online
Churches can no longer depend on the collection plate to raise enough money to keep their church running. Most people do not carry cash or even checks with them every day. Online fundraising has become necessary. Thanks to technology and fundraising software, churches can now collect offerings and tithes with online donation pages and forms on a website or app, text-to-give, and crowdfunding or peer-to-peer campaigns.
4. Better access to experts
Churches are less able to afford experts to help with fundraising and other requirements to keep them running. Technological advancements have made experts in fundraising and other fields more available than in the past. Missionaries and biblical scholars are also more accessible than ever before. Churches can benefit from connecting and communicating with each of these experts.
Professionals – Freelance professionals are available for fundraising, marketing, and security. Thanks to new technology, churches have access to these professionals based in their communities and across the world.
Missionaries – Missionaries are based around the world to spread God’s word and reach those who have not heard the message. Technology has made finding these mission opportunities even easier. Churches can also share the work their members are doing on the ground in real-time with live streaming and platforms like YouTube.
Biblical scholars – Churches can contact biblical scholars through email and social media. They can include virtual face-to-face seminars with these scholars in their weekly sermons or Sunday school classes and prayer meetings.
6 Church Technology Trends in 2021 and Beyond
Churches can jump on board with several technology trends thanks to their affordability and simplicity.
Here are 5 trends churches of every size can participate in to promote their mission, raise funds, and connect with their members.
Churches can improve communication with their members and community with technological tools like websites and church apps. Churches can keep their congregations in the know about upcoming events and activities, and members can submit prayer requests, get inspired by scripture, and tithe through online giving platforms.
To get the best results from these tools, churches must make sure their website and app are mobile-friendly. Websites and apps encourage more involvement and participation because people do not have to search too hard for the perfect Sunday school class or prayer meeting.
You can check out the below church website. It’s the perfect example of a virtual church. The ease of navigation across pages, crisp content, and the simple navigation menu make it particularly interesting.
2. Live stream with YouTube or other streaming platforms
Live streaming has become more common since the pandemic. Churches have shared their services through live streaming using several platforms. YouTube and Facebook are some of the most commonly used platforms, but other platforms are created specifically for churches. Live streaming can be used for weekly services, classes, prayer meetings, and events.
3. Focus on micro-marketing
People these days love to see advertisements and promotions that are relevant. After all, it is no use reaching out to someone with an ask that is useless to them. Here is where micro-marketing comes into the picture. With it, you can target people through geo-targeting, beacon advertising, social media advertising, etc.
This is especially useful when you’re promoting events or making an ask that will only make sense to a particular community or set of people.
4. Use social media to connect and communicate
Social media is a chance to communicate and connect with your congregation and their communities. Churches share stories and updates that entice and excite their congregations using social media accounts. Facebook and Instagram let you write long captions that make connecting with your followers even easier. You can also encourage followers to share their own experiences with the church and God.
Pro tip: To get the best reaction from your followers, post several times throughout the week. The purpose is to remain in contact with your followers and give them the spiritual support they may lack.
5. Let your donors give with a text
Text to give was once only a way for larger organizations to raise funds after disasters or other premium events. With new technology, smaller nonprofits and churches can use text-to-give to encourage donations during outside events and weekly service.
With tools like Donorbox, churches can create a campaign and enable text-to-give to get started. They can share the campaign ID and texting number with donors. Donors interested in giving by text will send the ID to the number and receive a link to the online campaign page where they can give any amount. Repeating the donation becomes even easier with Donorbox, without the need for filling out any forms. Know about Donorbox text-to-give plans here.
6. Give donors a secure way to manage and repeat donations online
With newer trends coming in very often and the need for transparency increasing, donors want to have the power over their donations, recurring plans, and donation receipts. Imagine the ease of giving your congregation a secure system wherein they can log in, check their own recurring plans, repeat a donation on the go, upgrade or cancel anytime, and manage their donation receipts. It will double the transparency and ease of making donations.
Donorbox’s QuickDonate is an effective feature that lets your congregation repeat an old offering on the go. Their precious payment information is securely stored upon confirmation from their end when they give for the first time and all future donations become an absolute breeze. They can update their donation amounts if they want to and download donation receipts as and when they want. Give this quick promo video a watch to learn more –
5 Steps to Adopt Technology for Your Church
Adding new technology to your church should not be done quickly and without additional research. If not done correctly, technology can be a costly mistake.
1. Conduct an inventory of your technology
Before adding new technology to your church, you should take time to conduct a technology inventory. The best way to do this is to look at your needs and what pieces and platforms you already have on hand. From there, your church should research all free possibilities to see if these options meet your needs.
In the case of church security and communication apps, the free option may not be the best choice. Once you have found which technology needs to be purchased, you can move on to the next step.
2. Remember your mission as you find ways to use technology
When researching technology tools to purchase, it is vital to include your mission in the decision process. Churches may want to buy the best tools to share sermons online or connect with youth, but a more affordable option may be best if their mission is focused on reaching an older community.
When determining how to spend your technology fund, churches should first think of their mission and how each of these tools will work to fulfill their goals.
3. Add replacement cost of technology to your annual budget
Churches should create a separate technology fund for technology replacements and maintenance. Any tool or software will wear out with time. When creating your budget, always have space for some savings in case you need to repair or replace some tools.
4. Raise funds from your parishioners
Now you will need to find ways to raise funds for technology. The best way to encourage donations for these costs is to explain how they help your church fulfill its mission. For instance, if your church wants to start a virtual church, let people know why. Your church has a better chance of receiving donations if members truly understand the purpose behind the technology.
Pro tip: Adding a donation designation for the technology fund to your online donation form can create awareness of the need and make it easy for people to support.
Donorbox is helping thousands of churches across the globe accept tithes and offerings online with its easy fundraising solution, donor management tool, and other useful features. Watch this short 1-min video to know more.
5. Review the inventory and your plan every year
As your church grows, you may need some new equipment. For example, if your live-streaming is doing really well, you may want to buy a better camera or improve the lighting. Feedback from your members can also give you an idea of what else you need for your church technology. Hence, take the time out at least once a year to review your inventory and update the budget accordingly.
Technology options have changed drastically over the last few years, and these changes are likely to continue. There are many free and affordable options for churches, but before purchasing any new technology, churches must make sure these tools help them fulfill their mission.
Donorbox has several affordable tools and features for churches for fundraising, donor management, and marketing. To learn more about our features, visit our website. If your church is looking for more fundraising ideas or marketing help for your church, check out our blog.
Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.