Church tech is not new. The idea that the use of technology in the church is somehow wrong, ineffective or unprecedented is a misconception. God’s people have always used technology to further the kingdom. Perhaps the confusion comes in the definition of technology.
Technology can be defined as the use of scientific knowledge for practical purposes or applications.
What Is Church Tech?
Church tech then can be defined as the use of methods, processes or knowledge to further the goals and mission of the church. Three great examples of the use of technology are found in the Holy Bible:
Noah used technological processes, methods or knowledge to build the ark, for the purpose of preserving the human race.
David defeated Goliath with a slingshot, which in his day was a high-tech weapon.
Solomon used the best technology available to him, in the form of stonecutters, carpenters, silversmiths, and surveyors, to build the temple.
So right off the bat you can throw out the misconception that:
1.”The church does not use Technology.”
One of the greatest uses of technology was the application of the printing press to mass produce copies of the Holy Bible. Johannes Gutenberg, considered the inventor of the printing press. used technology to mass produce books and quickly spread knowledge in 15th century Europe. The Gutenburg Bible is an early use of church tech to spread the gospel.
2. “Older congregants will not embrace technology.”
This is a commonly held belief based largely on assumptions. Not only is this not true, but a study by Dunham and Company showed that online giving among those over 65 was equal to that of those younger. Senior Americans have traditionally been late adopters of technology. But according to the Pew Research Center. Seniors are embracing technology at a surprising rate. In 2013, 59% were internet users.
3. “Technology will be our problem”
Technology itself is not bad, but it also is not foolproof. It’s all in how it is applied. The problem comes when church tech becomes a substitute for human interaction. People and churches require physical connection and human interaction for survival. Church tech should encourage and enhance, but not replace, the human part of the church experience.
4. “All technologies are created equal” and 5. “It doesn’t cost anything.”
Because of open source technology, an increasing number of tools and apps are available free or at a very low cost.
This does not mean that there is not cost involved with the development and use of this technology. Generally we do not realize the time, labor, testing involved with development, not to mention support and updates.
Just because you pay for something doesn’t guarantee a robust technology or carry more inherent value or functionality. Price does not always indicate worth. Tight church budgets require a plan. That plan not only requires time and education, but often financial resources too.
Church Tech Should Mean Enhancement, Not Replacement
Church tech can enhance but should not replace good old-fashioned Christian fellowship. As with anything, you should proceed with a plan and good stewardship in mind.