Barna Research Points to Opportunities for Churches to Address Technology

families churches technologyAccording to a new research study conducted by The Barna Group, many parents and teens are interested in receiving guidance from their churches concerning media and technology, yet few churches are addressing these issues.

The summary of the study reports,

Most parents and tweens/teens have not heard any kind of teaching in a church, religious setting, or public forum (like a school) about how families can best use media, entertainment or technology.

Yet the report goes on to say,

When asked if they would be open to one version of such training—“a Christian or faith-based perspective about how to be a good user of entertainment and technology without letting things negatively impact your family relationships”—about two-fifths of parents (42%) and one-third of tweens and teens (33%) expressed interest.

You can read the full report here.

This looks like a clear opportunity that churches are currently missing. It also looks like like an area where churches could use some encouragement, guidance and resources.  This could very well turn into a series of posts based on your feedback and ideas. So, let’s talk about how churches are or could be addressing issues related to technology…

  1. Do you think churches have a responsibility to provide biblical guidance about technology to parents and teens?
  2. How is your church doing when it comes to providing that guidance?
  3. What suggestions would you give church leaders who want to provide guidance on technology issues?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

6 Responses to “Barna Research Points to Opportunities for Churches to Address Technology”

  1. RE: Do you think churches have a responsibility to provide biblical guidance about technology to parents and teens?

    Absolutely! If it is not already a priority, make it one!! It may be hard to imagine, but the changes brought about by digital technology are only going to accelerate.

    • PaulSteinbrueck May 31, 2011 at 10:00 am

      I'm with you, Gordon. I'm not sure what to make of the response this post and the follow-up (8 Media/Tech Issues Churches Should Addresshttp://t.co/xcXLQAB) have received though. They've gotten a fair number of shares/retweets, but not many comments (other than in the Church IT Roundtable LinkedIn Group).

      If it's only techie's who think these are important issues, then it's not going to go very far. I'm hoping parents, teens, pastors, and student ministry leaders will comment with their thoughts on these issues and if/how they think churches can help.

      • You work hard at blogging, do it well, and have quite a bit of experience. So it is understandable that a lack of response to what you think is a widely recognized issue can be a little frustrating. Still, on some things, and this may be one of them, I wouldn't let response be the driving factor. I think technology has become a runaway train for most church leaders who have yet to allocate the time to getting "the big picture."

        I go back and forth between two views of technology: "technology is just a tool" and "technology is producing a shift in the way we think and behave, particularly among the young." Read more: http://bit.ly/cY3B9u

        The first is easy to be delegated to an IT specialist or Dir. of Communications. The latter requires, as one pastor told me recently, "a theology of technology," for the purpose of helping the church and entire congregation discern and respond biblically.

        To bring redemptive attributes and strategies into the global communication phenomenon, it is important to understand the forces at work. Keep teaching and putting light on these things Paul, for such a time as this.

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