The slightly more wired church

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According to Barna’s latest study, churches are utlizing some technology — especially large screens in worship — but not others.

Among the findings:

  • Two-thirds of Protestant churches (65%) now have a large screen projection system in their church that they use for services and other events. However, that number is barely higher than the 62% identified in Barna’s 2005 study.
  • Overall, 57% of churches show movie clips or other video segments during their services and events. That represents 88% of the churches that have a big screen in place – up from 76% of the churches who had big screens in 2000, but a slight decrease from the 99% of churches with large screens who showed such materials in 2005.
  • Sending e-mail blasts to large groups of people or to the entire church body is common to a majority of Protestant churches (56%). Surprisingly, however, the prevalence of this practice has not budged since 2005.
  • Back in 2000, just one-third of Protestant churches (34%) had a church website. That exploded to 57% in 2005, and has inched upward since then to 62%.
  • One out of every four Protestant churches (26%) now has some presence on one or more social networking sites (such as MySpace and Facebook)
  • Blogging is also invading the ministry world. One-eighth of Protestant churches (13%) now have blog sites or pages through which people can interact with the thoughts posted by church leaders.
  • One technology that has not shown any discernible expansion in the past several years is that of satellite broadcasting. In 2000, some 7% of Protestant churches had a satellite dish for receiving programming and training.

What technology are you finding effective in your church? How are you using things like e-mail blasts or social networking sites?

What are you trying to figure out how to use? Maybe as a group we can help you out a bit with it.

Side note: I was saving this for Thursday’s Randles’ Rambles post, but it may fit great here. This makes me laugh out loud. There are two Facebook groups around our own Jon Randles. I’m not even sure he knows they exist. They were started by college students.

The first one I found was The Jon Randles Club of Dangerous Disciples. The second is I’d have turned out a lot different if Jon Randles was my dad. Go ahead, you know you want to click at least one of the links.

Ah, those crazy college kids. They make me laugh.

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3 Responses to “The slightly more wired church”

  1. debra Says:

    One of the things I like about using the “social networking sites” is that they are fluid and there are FACES to names and actions….Websites are often harder to update or keep up to date, not so with a SNS. Have a mission project? download shots that night…get comments on it 1 hour later! 🙂

    Collegiate and youth ministers can send out their Bible study thoughts and/or questions to consider before the kids get to the actual study. This is so easily done electronically…

  2. Ferrell Says:

    Good words, Debra. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tim Dahl Says:

    I use email a lot with my church leadership. I don’t do large “blasts,” since about 1/3 of my church doesn’t have email. But, all of my leadership does. I also utilize the “blog,” but I haven’t been on it in a while due to life circumstances. We also order our Sunday School Curr online. We have less and less reason to go to a store, when most of our stuff is bought this way.

    Be Well,

    Tim

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