Why Churches Lag Behind with Technology and How You Can Get Ahead

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 6/27/23 2:30 PM
Boyd Pelley
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LagbehindDuring a recent podcast with EST, we delved into the reasons why churches tend to fall behind when it comes to utilizing technology. As always, spending time with Sam and Josh was a pleasure.

Although the conversation with EST had a life of its own, I like to come prepared. With the assistance of GPT, I compiled four reasons why churches often lag behind in technology adoption.  You might find this a helpful evaluation tool.  It is followed by a single idea to help you get ahead.

  1. Age and gifting of leadership.  I've written in the past about the bridge between digital natives and digital immigrants.  Additionally, pastors often prioritize preaching and pastoral care, which leaves less time for implementing new technologies in the church.
  2. Unclear how software helps with vision and strategy.  Software development for churches has come a long way. While it once focused solely on solving specific problems like finances, attendance, worship, groups, check-in, or communication, it has evolved to bring all of these different objectives together to achieve the broader purpose of making disciples.
  3. Incorrect reliance on volunteers.  If volunteers are brought on to help choose software solutions for a church, they need to research software built for churches not customize applications they know.  Programming or customizing business software slows down the technology adoption process because you have to wait for volunteers to learn the needs and create the solutions. This also makes the church overly dependent on that volunteer for training and updates. Use volunteers to assist in learning to use software made for churches.
  4. Concerns about privacy and security.  With all the news about data breaches, it makes sense that people want to know about software privacy and security.  Church leaders should ask their software providers for both their protocols for and their suggestions on the best practices for safeguarding information.  Here is our privacy policy for example.  And this blog post gives best practice ideas for avoiding phishing scams.

How many of these lag factors apply to your church?  If you want to get ahead in the use of technology in your church, here is my one suggestion:

Decide to give data a seat at the table. 

The output of data is only as good as its input. When the accuracy of data is in question, trust in its feedback is (and should be) questioned. The only way to resolve this is to give time and attention to database collection and use by inviting it to the decision-making table.

Put how you are using your database on your staff meeting agenda. Review and discuss the four reasons above.  Maybe there are others.  Bring these to the surface to see and consider.

Evaluate the feature set of the software you are using.  If it's not up to today's standards, take time to see what else is out there.  Join me for a Meet The Software Zoom webinar if you want to see what we do.

Evaluate your team commitment to it.  If pastors and staff depend on assistants and volunteers to input data and use the database, you will always be lagging.  Everyone needs to gain competency in system input if they are to gain confidence in system output.

When you invite your database to the decision-making your team will learn to work together in a new and empowering way that will help your church surge ahead in your commission to make disciples.

Tags: Church Management Software

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