There has been quite a bit in the media recently about church communications. Here are a few excerpts from articles you may find interesting.
George Barna published a study last month that has rocked many Christian leaders’ worlds. “More than seven out of ten Americans (72%) claim they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today.” However… “Only 17% of adults said that ‘a person’s faith is meant to be developed mainly by involvement in a local church.’ In other words, while there appears to be an increase in spirituality, fewer people are finding the local church important to their spiritual development.
The L.A. Times published an article yesterday entitled “God’s Call Comes by Cellphone.” It cites examples of how Christian churches are using the latest technology to connect with people. “Nearly 60% of Protestant churches have websites now, up from 35% in 2000. More than half use e-mail blasts to communicate with their congregation — and 12% let the faithful tithe online, according to the Barna Group, which conducts research for Christian ministries. In the sanctuary itself, more than 60% of Protestant churches spice up their services with video clips shown on oversize screens.” There has also been an explosion in churches that podcast the audio of their sermons, utilize text messaging, and even do video broadcasting of their services online.
Even the Wall Street Journal got into the act with an article called “Churches Embrace the Web In Bid to Attract Members.” It describes an Episcopal priest who has used MySpace to draw people to his church as well as a youth ministry that is using MySpace to connect with teens. “‘MySpace is a great tool for creating buzz,’ he said, ‘The trick is, how do you create buzz without endorsing something that can be potentially harmful?'”
It leads me to two questions…
- How does a church decide what technology to embrace?
- By providing podcasts and video services, is the church actually contributing to the problem that only 17% of Americans believe a person’s faith is meant to be developed in the context of the local church?
In His Service,