In this day and age, your church is probably using some form of technology. Your tools may be as simple as creating email newsletters or posting updates on social media, or as in depth as a fully integrated suite of church-specific tech solutions.
Whatever you currently have implemented, you’re not alone. According to Pushpay’s recent survey, the ‘2021 State of Church Technology Report’, 99% of churches are incorporating digital tools. Nearly two thousand church leaders from all across the country agree: Technology is critical to the Church’s mission.
What they don’t seem to agree on, however, is how often they should reassess the tech tools they’ve already implemented.
When asked about their church’s relationship with technology, over half of the respondents to the above survey described themselves as progressive. That would suggest a proactive approach to the evaluation of their current and future tech tools. But later in that same survey, when asked how often they’re considering new technology purchases, just 27% of those leaders said they’re reevaluating their suite of tools any more often than annually.
That discrepancy is too large to ignore. Church leaders understand the importance of technology to their ministry and they consider themselves forward-thinking progressives with tech. Yet almost three-quarters of them fail to think about their tech tools more than once a year.
That’s simply not ‘proactive’ enough in today’s digital world.
Why Regular Tech Assessments Are Important
How many times a week do you hear about a new gadget promising to change your life? How about the newest must-have app for your phone? The latest video game console, that next generation television, a lawnmower that will shave twenty-percent off your gardening time?
— ok, most of those products don’t live up to the hype. The point is, technology is constantly advancing. It’s true in every aspect of our lives, including church tech. New options arrive regularly, any one of which could solve an issue that’s given you headaches for years. Or maybe a feature you’ve taken for granted received an upgrade in quality, or is listed at a discounted price. The only way to know about these changes is to stay proactive.
And technology isn’t the only piece of the puzzle that’s evolving. Remember all those fantastic strides forward your church has made in the past year? (Give yourself a high five, we’ll wait…)
Now consider how those changes affected the dynamics of your congregation. Did your membership grow at the same pace as their donations? Have you been able to maintain the same level of personal connection with all the new faces? Do you hear a little more grumbling behind-the-scenes as your dedicated team of administrators and volunteers start feeling overwhelmed?
Your church is changing. So must your tech. It’s the only way to continue growing and reaching your goals.
Luckily, reevaluating your church’s digital toolkit isn’t as intimidating or time-consuming as it might seem. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.
Put The Assessment On Your Calendar
We’re all guilty of procrastinating on the occasional chore, and tech assessments are an easy task to delay over and over again. That’s why it’s helpful to add this assessment to your yearly calendar. How about during a stretch when you’ll be doing most of your other annual planning?
Know Your Church’s Goals
A tech assessment doesn’t have to be difficult, but it starts with knowing and understanding your goals. Perhaps you want to emphasize community engagement, as opposed to growth? Or are you looking to increase donations throughout the year? These priorities will affect the tech solutions you’ll consider adding to your toolkit.
Assess Your Current Tools
One simple way to gauge where you’re at versus where you’re going is a spreadsheet. Create a grid, one axis naming each of your current tech tools, the other listing your church’s goals for the future.
Now gauge how well each tool is helping you reach each goal. Be honest in this assessment — you could break it down with in-depth descriptions, come up with a points scale, or simply use color codes. The important thing is that you spot the patterns. You’ll quickly recognize which tools are supporting your vision, and where you might be lagging behind.
Figure Out The Solutions
You now know where your tech gaps are — how can you plug them? In some cases, the answer may be as simple as leveraging one of your existing tools in a different or more efficient manner. Other times, it will be necessary to invest in new digital solutions to help accelerate you toward your goals.
The good news is, you don’t have to figure out those answers alone. A quick call with a church software expert can bring you up-to-speed on all the options that might fit your ministry’s needs and budget. Even better, regular check-ins will keep you informed about what’s new, powerful, and in the pipeline for the near future, so you will be ready to pounce when that perfect tech solution becomes available.
As always, we at Pushpay are here to help. Schedule a chat with one of our experts now.