Have you lived through a revolution?
When we hear the word revolution, it’s usually in the context of a government being overthrown, but there are other kinds of revolutions, and we are living in the midst of one.
Of course I’m talking about the technology revolution swirling around us. In the last 20 years, people have gone from limited internet usage to a constant stream of emails, text messages, and access to any kind of data we need.
I can quickly find out who has the cheapest gas, how much that house I just passed is on the market for, and read reviews on a product I’m thinking about buying. We have a glut of information because of technology and that has affected how we view and receive information. Josh Wall has a great blog post on how his generation thinks about the overflow of information coming to them.
Besides curating information they receive, Josh and his Millennial friends use technology every day to make their lives easier and this includes their spiritual lives. Among practicing Christian Millennials:
- 70% read scripture on a phone, a tablet, or online.
- 59% say they search for spiritual content online.
- 56% check out a church online before visiting.
- 38% fact-check statements their faith leader makes in sermons, blogs, or other places.
- 39% give online rather than in the putting their gift in an offering plate. 20% text to donate at least once a month.
I could go on with the Barna findings, but I think you get the picture. Millennials and Gen Zers (the generation behind Millennials) will continue to seamlessly integrate technology into their lives.
The wonderful thing is that these same revolutionary technologies are available for churches. If I move and am looking for a new church home, sites like Faithstreet can help me find one. If a church warrants further investigation, I can visit the church website to help determine if a visit is appropriate.
I can use apps for Bible study and verse memorization. If I’m on church staff, I can stay in touch with members and prospects through apps like Church Life. All kinds of technology tools can help us in with our spiritual lives and in ministry.
God’s message to the world is unchanging, but the tools we use to reach people continue to morph as years, decades, centuries, and millennia go by. We must be open if we want to reach the world for Christ.
Remember, technology is value neutral and does what we want it to do. The value it has depends on who is using it and what is done with it. We have a wonderful opportunity to use technology for good.
The revolution is here to stay: is your church embracing the tech revolution so you can reach these generations?
Carol Brown is a Senior Technical Writer with ACS Technologies. It doesn’t take much to make her happy – good coffee and good chocolate will do the trick.