Tech Advocates in Church Are Essential — Why Not Become One?
Church attendance has been in decline for some time now. Some ministry leaders believe this is because technology entered the ministry, but this is far from accurate. In fact, churches with tech advocates are better able to attract new congregants, increase overall giving, improve outreach, and much more. To put it simply, we should use the tools that God has provided.
Unfortunately, some ministry leaders think having a website is enough to meet their tech needs. While this may have once been sufficient, the world has come a long way in recent years. Even if you consider all the tools provided by DonorWERX — ranging from giving apps to cryptocurrency donations — they still barely scratch the surface of your church’s tech needs.
Here’s what you should know to be your ministry’s tech advocate.
Does My Church Really Need a Tech Advocate?
Many ministry leaders ask whether their church needs to keep up with tech trends at all. The answer to this is a resounding yes. Failure to do so can be detrimental to your congregation. For instance, the COVID pandemic made in-person preaching difficult. Those that already had virtual service capabilities, however, were able to continue doing what they’d always done.
Additionally, the church has moved beyond just passing the offering plate. Ministries are realizing more and more how important it is to facilitate digital giving. Text-to-give, online donations, and other digital contribution methods offer a myriad of benefits. Accepting this technology early on is another factor that gave tech-savvy ministries the ability to survive the pandemic.
Fortunately, most houses of worship now acknowledge that digital giving is important. After all, it’s hard for people to put money in the offering plate when they’re not even in attendance. Since technology continues to evolve, though, tech advocates know this isn’t the end of the story. As new trends emerge, tech advocates can help the ministry stay relevant in a modern world.
Concerns of Bringing Technology Into the Ministry
You’ll sometimes see people claim that technology pulls us away from God. In some ways, that’s true. When it comes to being a tech advocate in church, though, that fear isn’t applicable. Yes, your parishioners may spend too much time on YouTube and not enough on the Bible. They may even watch inappropriate films on the same device that holds their digital scriptures.
Of course, none of these things relate to the ministry’s use of technology. Utilizing tech tools that improve your church does not dictate the behavior of church members. When it comes down to it, technology used by the ministry to spread God’s word is an invaluable tool. The following are other common concerns — along with why tech advocates don’t have to worry about them.
Older Members Can’t Keep Up
Most people in their 30s don’t fully understand the new trends of younger generations. This makes it understandable that some may fear older church members can’t keep up with technology. Statistics show us, however, that 83% of Americans aged 50-64 own smartphones. Among those 65 and older, the rate is still high at 61%.
The fact is that older Americans are often far more technologically savvy than we give them credit for. Some of these individuals watched man land on the moon for the first time, so they can figure out tech if they want to. Of course, new trends are sometimes difficult for folks to keep up with. That’s why every great tech advocate in churches understands our next section.
Giving Up the Old Ways
Every servant of the Lord at one point envisions working in a small community. Even if it’s not a serious consideration on their part, most church leaders enjoy the quaint idea of serving in the country where the pastor lives on parish grounds. The idea of bringing technology into the church may seem to shatter this beautiful idea, but in reality, you don’t have to give up the old ways.
For example, think of online giving software for a moment. Utilizing such a tool lets you accept donations online, via app, and in a variety of other different ways. Does it stop you, however, from passing the offering plate? Does live-streaming your service prevent long-term members from occupying the pew? Technology is a tool to improve the ministry — not replace it.
The Costs of Technology in Church
Even if someone has long considered themselves the tech advocate in a church, they may worry about the cost of implementing new technologies. This is a legitimate concern. In fact, you should question the cost of every expenditure your ministry makes. Fortunately, keeping up with technology is relatively inexpensive when you look at the reality of the situation.
For instance, you can stream church services absolutely free with social tools like Facebook, YouTube, and others. Of course, purchasing donor software or frameworks costs money upfront, but if they successfully increase donations, they more than pay for themselves. That’s why DonorWERX offers tips to increase giving by 10% in six months during our free discovery calls.
We think an increase of 10% from one phone call is enough to show you how invaluable a tech advocate can be.
How to Become a Tech Advocate for the Ministry
If we’ve done our jobs, you now realize how important it is to have a tech advocate in your church. Of course, recognizing the need for something is just the first step in a process. Becoming the advocate that can make technology work to the benefit of the ministry is a process. Fortunately, the following steps can help you get there.
Keep Up With Ministry News
Following information sources like LifeWay Research is an important part of being a tech advocate in church. This will keep you up to date on the latest ministry news along with new innovations. You can also keep up with what larger congregations are doing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
The youth in our churches are an invaluable resource. They can let ministry leaders know the exact moment people start leaving Facebook for Instagram (which may already be happening). They also keep up with many tech trends themselves. Don’t be afraid to reach out to younger members and learn what they know.
Use Integrative Tools
If you’re the first church tech advocate in your congregation, you could spend extensive time finding the right tools. Taking the time to track down vendors that can handle crypto donations, online giving, text-to-give, donor engagement, and outreach strategies may seem like it could take forever. This is why you should choose tools that integrate many of these tasks.
DonorWERX is one such resource. Our partnerships with organizations like BitDonate and SecureGive make us a one-stop-shop for most of your giving needs.
Pick the Brains of Other Leaders
Are you friends with leaders in other churches? Do you follow respected figures on LinkedIn and other social platforms? These are both great resources for those hoping to become tech advocates in the ministry. Technology isn’t something you have to figure out on your own, and it’s okay to ask or research what works for everyone else.
Now Is the Time
Every church needs a tech advocate. It’s understandable to desire a situation where nothing has to change. Unfortunately, that’s simply not possible for ministries in the modern world. The message doesn’t have to change, but the tools you use to spread the word of God should at least keep up with churchgoers.
Take a Bold Step — Become Your Church’s Tech Advocate Today
Our goal throughout this guide was to show just how important technology can be to the ministry. In doing so, it’s hopefully become clear that you can move into the future without losing the past. Whether you’re in a capital-city megachurch or a tiny parish in the country, you have the responsibility of using the tools available to better do God’s work.
At DonorWERX, that’s exactly what we provide. Becoming your church’s tech advocate may sound intimidating, but the resources we offer simplify the entire process. From pre-made apps and kiosk giving to donor engagement and crypto donations, we can handle it all. Schedule a Discovery Call with our giving experts today to learn how our service can improve your ministry.