Ministry Technology

Tools, strategies for online worship vary among churches

"It is still too early to tell what kind of impact we are having, but I do know our online audience is far surpassing our regular church attendance because we have widened the net," Hooks said. "It is also confirmation that what I have been telling the church is true -- 'The church is not closed; we have left the building.'" - BPNews

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3 Ways Facebook Groups Can Bridge the ‘Social Distancing’ Gap in Churches

"Streaming a sermon over Facebook Live for a week or two is a fine temporary substitute for in-person Bible teaching. But how can churches use technology to support the community provided by the local church gathering while we are prevented from meeting?" - F&T

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Some Useful Technologies for Church Ministry (Part 2)

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(Technologies for outreach, continued)

2. Audio and Video Media

Nowadays, a good church website will have more than good graphics and helpful written information. Since the advent of digital media, many churches have begun to make their sermons available in audio format. If the church has its own server or pays for a hosting service, it can archive its audio messages and make them available on its own website.12 For churches that can’t host their own audio archives, there are ministries like Sermonaudio.com, which can provide both the hosting and also a worldwide venue of listenership for a reasonable price.13 Such services often provide monthly reports not only of how many people are listening to or downloading your sermons but also of where these people are in the world. You can also acquire these kinds of statistics by using Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic.

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Some Useful Technologies for Church Ministry (Part 1)

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The “sharp axe” proverb in Ecclesiastes 10:10 highlights the importance of keeping our technology “honed” or “up-to-date.” Not only is an iron or steel axe head preferable to a stone axe head, but the edge of the axe must also be sharp if we want to increase our productivity and success. Just as the woodsman should keep his axe sharp in order to increase his productivity, so we who are engaged in church ministry should keep our technology in good working order and, as much as possible, current and up-to-date. Of course, we shouldn’t assume that the latest technology is always the best technology. We may need to wait until a new technology is “tested” before making the investment. Moreover, having “cutting edge” technology may not be absolutely necessary or feasible for every church.

But I fear that some of us are trying to do church ministry with a “stone axe,” metaphorically speaking. Our technology is either dated, or we’re not keeping it sharp. As a result, our church’s ministry is not as efficient and productive as it could be. Of course, we can still do church ministry with older and less efficient technologies just like a woodman can bring down a tree with a sledge hammer if he hits it long enough. But why should we pray God overrule our lack of applied wisdom? Why not make use of the best and most efficient technologies that are consistent with our ministry objectives and within our budgetary grasp?

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Technology & Ministry: Benefits, Drawbacks, and Dangers

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In our previous installment, we saw that human culture and technology are a necessary part of the creation mandate and as such should not be viewed as necessary or intrinsic evils. Moreover, we argued that religion is part of human culture, and it will, therefore, employ some of the tools of culture. But before we suggest some ways in which we can use modern technologies to advance the Great Commission, I’d like briefly to highlight the tension that exists between the benefits, tradeoffs, and dangers of technology. We’ve noted that human technology brings with it certain benefits or, to use a biblical term, “blessings.” Nevertheless, over and against those benefits and blessings, we need to be aware of the resultant tradeoffs as well as the potential dangers that new technologies introduce.

Lessons from the Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution brought with it many benefits. Various kinds of manufactured goods become more available and affordable. Many of the things produced by factories facilitated the services of other vocations and even occasioned the need for new vocations. As a result, many new jobs were created and people employed.

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The Cutting Edge: Technology & Church Ministry

All churches employ forms of modern technology to assist them in the tasks of outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. This raises the question as to whether the Bible provides the church with any guidelines or principles for choosing and using appropriate forms of technology in carrying out her Great Commission. I believe it does. One key text in this regard actually comes from the Old Testament. I’m thinking of Ecclesiastes 10:10, where we read, “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed” (Eccl 10:10, NLT).1

Keep the Edge Sharp

An axe is a product of human technology, designed to assist man in subduing the earth. The implication of this text is that people should not only employ the right technology in carrying out their particular cultural task; people should also keep such technology well-honed and up-to-date in order to increase their productivity and likelihood of success. With a touch of humor, Douglas Wilson remarks,

We see in this proverb a little Solomonic understatement. That boy is trying to chop down a tree with a baseball bat. If a man stopped to sharpen the ax, he would get through the cord of wood a little faster. If he undertook a little maintenance, the car would run longer.2

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Five social media trends churches should know about in 2020

"2. People are moving from public spaces to private spaces....These days, private social media spaces are starting to get a lot more attention. Features like Facebook Groups, Instagram direct messages, and apps like Snapchat all continue to grow in popularity." - BP News

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