Embrace The Times
Houses of worship have seen historic levels of disruption in recent years. Many were already reeling from consistent reductions in attendance, and then a pandemic decided to pile on more. Fortunately, congregations are resilient. Of the many recent technological innovations helping ministries survive, these are the major church tech trends you must embrace.
1. Heavier Social Media Integration
Experts have been discussing virtual church services for years now, but many ministries still haven’t made the transition. While it might be challenging to think up virtual church service ideas or even set up the technology, this is one area you can’t afford to falter in.
Fortunately, social media has made online services more straightforward than ever. Thanks to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and other social streaming services, there’s hardly any setup for hosting a virtual service. If you haven’t already embraced social media as a church tech trend, now is the time.
2. Onsite Giving Kiosks
If you’ve read any of our resources, you know how important we feel online giving is to the future of the ministry. In fact, if you’re not already accepting tithes and donations online, you could be doing your church a disservice. You shouldn’t forget other ways of giving, though, and having an onsite kiosk is one of your best options. This is one church tech trend that’s no doubt here to stay.
3. Mobile Apps
Have you ever heard someone say, “there’s an app for that”? Because there are 8.9 million mobile apps available, it’s a safe bet that this adage is 100% accurate. This helps explain why so many ministries have now offered congregants their own church app.
Considering the complexity of apps, though, will most ministries forego this church tech trend? Absolutely not. There are many donation tools available — including the online giving software from DonorWerx — that make creating a branded church app a simple process.
4. Offering Wi-Fi to Parishioners
Just a few years back, the idea of looking at your phone in church was borderline blasphemous. It’s pretty much the same today if you’re doing something like checking Facebook. However, an abundance of online tools that complement the ministry has emerged in recent years.
For many of these church tech trends, free Wi-Fi can be a significant help. For instance, the 40% of churchgoers who love Bible apps could save their data while quickly finding and moving between verses. You could also allow those without home internet access to use it outside of services.
5. Churches Accepting Crypto Donations
Recently, crypto has gained widespread acceptance, and it’s time to acknowledge that. A recent study found that 48% of American investors bought cryptocurrency in the first half of 2021. Some experts estimate that 50 million Americans from all backgrounds will buy crypto for the first time in 2022.
Of course, this is likely one of the most intimidating church tech trends. Do you even know how to accept crypto? Most don’t. Fortunately, the right tools make this easy. For instance, CryptoDonations through DonorWerx (Powered by BitDonate) handles all the tech aspects for you.
Seriously, you only need to sign up for a free eWallet. This takes just a few minutes, and all that’s left then is to wait for donations to come in.
7. Automation of Everything
Many houses of worship are slow to adopt church tech trends. This is understandable — particularly for rural ministries — but procrastination can be harmful. Fortunately, most congregations have seen the importance of things like virtual services and social media. Now, let’s go a step further.
That step is automation. The simple fact is that leading a church has only gotten more difficult recently. Smaller budgets and fewer members typically equate to more work for pastors and other leaders. Automation can, fortunately, take many ministry tasks and simplify them.
Automation will easily be one of the most popular church tech trends from now on. For instance, Hootsuite can automate social media posting. Tools like DonorWerx also allow congregants to sign up for automatic giving. You can even automate prayer request forms and team organization.
6. Targeted Marketing
It sounds strange to say “marketing” and “church” in the same sentence, but it’s a reality we have to live with. Even if you don’t realize it, you’re marketing your ministry daily. Posts to social media, sponsoring local events, and even your outdoor church sign are forms of promotion.
Of course, not all church marketing is created equally. By focusing on targeted messaging, you’re taking advantage of a significant church tech trend that’s been a long time coming. For instance, did you know you can show Facebook ads to specific age groups?
This is a form of personalization — an integral aspect of appealing to congregants and donors. You can even do this on your own away from marketing platforms. For instance, focusing on donor segmentation will ensure you’re sending the right messaging to the right people.
7. Short-Form Videos
It seems strange that shortening a current church tech trend could qualify as a new trend. You’re probably accustomed to uploading hour-long sermons and five-minute testimonials, right? However, that’s exactly what’s happening with short-form video content.
Short-form videos are just that; shorter. Take a look at TikTok, and you’ll find that the most popular content is less than one minute. While TikTok and the ministry may sound like strange companions, you can easily find modern televangelists and #MakeJesusViral hashtags on the platform.
Don’t let this promising church tech trend pass you by just because “TikTok” is a weird name. Short-form videos are easy to digest and can quickly drive up engagement. Like all other forms of content, you should strive to make these videos helpful, inspirational, and engaging.
9. Cloud-Based Technology
Cloud-based tools offer an abundance of potential for ministries. As this technology continues to expand, all tech may be handled on the cloud one day. Just because that time has yet to come, though, doesn’t mean you can’t already take advantage of it.
Even if you use this church tech trend for nothing more than replacing tools in the Microsoft Suite, you can cut costs significantly by doing so. You’ll also find that most cloud tools have solid security measures in place, so there’s not much concern for data breaches and other issues.
Everything is moving to the cloud — including things as important as our medical data. It’s the way of the future, so church leaders should strive to get on this train before it leaves the station.
10. Multi-Use Tech
Each of these technological innovations can do great things for your church. To get the most out of your investment, though, try to find resources that handle more than just one task. If you’re adding crypto and kiosks to your giving strategy, for instance, wouldn’t a platform that handles both along with your donor engagement strategy be ideal?
That’s what we offer at DonorWerx. Click here to see how our system combines the latest in church tech trends with long-established giving tools. There is no all-in-one solution to everything your ministry needs to thrive, but DonorWerx is about as close as you’ll get.
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