I visited a church recently … a LARGE church … that everyone told me was so edgy when it came to technology. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement and it prompted me to write the following article that appeared in the Easum, Bandy & Associates On Track Ezine. I put the first paragraph below so you can decide whether you want to read it all or not.
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I visit a lot of churches. A lot. And because of who I am and what I do, I just can’t help it – I wear my consultant’s hat, at least a little bit. Over the past year, I’ve taken a particular interest in checking out how the church uses technology. I’ve visited a number of mega-churches, a number of soon-to-be mega-churches, middle sized churches, and small churches and one thing I’ve found in each one … none of them are using current technology in worship effectively, if at all.
In general terms of cutting-edge technology, let me quickly dispel some current misconceptions. Just because you have a website, even an attractive website, doesn’t mean you’re cutting edge technologically. Although a website with a memorable and easily found URL (and thus search-engine optimized) is no longer an option, most church websites are hopelessly outmoded and outdated. Web 2.0 is the new standard, not the next-best-thing of the future – and if you don’t know what Web 2.0 is, then my point is proved. If your site doesn’t support or include discussion groups, wikis, social networking opportunities, blogs, RSS feeds, and other user interactive opportunities, then your site is emphatically not Web 2.0.
Another serious misconception is that if you’re using an email list to notify members of what’s going on, then you’re communicating in the most effective way to the younger generations. Not so. Turns out that Baby Boomers are pretty tuned in to email still, but get younger than fifty and in general you just as well be sending your email to the black-hole of cyberspace. None of my adult children (the youngest is twenty-two and the oldest is thirty) even check email anymore. That’s so retro … except they don’t use that word anymore, making me so retro! (My son said the correct term is “Old school” … I knew that.)