Last year was a true test of how churches would stay connected amidst a pandemic. You and many other churches worldwide proved your resilience and ability to remain engaged with your people by pivoting to online worship services using technological advancements.
Now, as we slowly move back to both in-person and online experiences, the pandemic has fundamentally changed how the Church looks and operates today. This transition may have left you with ministry challenges that have you asking questions like, “How do I integrate in-person services while continuing to use church technology to develop relationships outside the walls of my local church?”
Sixty-nine percent of you told us in a pre-Church Disrupt survey that you wanted to hear more about the future of Church technology. So, at Church Disrupt 2021, we’d made sure to incorporate breakout sessions led by innovative church leaders and staff from around the country.
The Future of Church Technology and How It Can Help Your Ministry Make Its Mark
Our very own Pushpay CEO, Molly Matthews, took a deep dive into the future of technology and how technology innovations will continue the growth of your church family and ministry. She focused on major pain points we see in the Church – engagement, tool fatigue, and nurturing communities – and explains how Pushpay’s church technology can help bridge the gap between you and these challenges.
As churches now try to sift through pieces of technology you’d like to keep while getting back into in-person services post-pandemic, Matthews said, “” You have the opportunity to create a hybrid church experience that will help you connect with people face–to-face while developing new relationships outside of Sunday services by leveraging church technology.” A hybrid experience can help boost church attendance beyond your local community.
As you’ve found resources to help you with your day-to-day church responsibilities, Matthews touched on the additional challenges churches may have of managing different tools and information disbursement.
Fortunately, “The future of the Church is a healthy ecosystem of technology for solutions, integrations, and workflows,” said Matthews.
She highlighted how Pushpay resolves tool management issues by offering an integrated solution with the launch of ChurchStaq, which combines digital giving, ChMS, and app capabilities.
This past year has also pushed churches to rethink how you engage and disciple your church body. Pastors and leadership teams have felt disconnected on how to reach your communities best, especially when your people need it the most.
Matthews explained how technology has helped bridge this gap by giving churches tools that provide insight into your people’s activities to help pastors find meaningful ministry opportunities, follow up, disciple, and pastor their congregation.
Leveraging Technology in a Crisis
Kevin Johnson, Founder and Lead Pastor at Dare to Imagine Church, focused on the importance of metrics and the tools that have helped his church staff as they continue to understand and connect with their people well beyond the pandemic.
Johnson explained as church planners begin to grow their communities, you’ll need two things, a Bible and Customer Relations Management Software (ChMS).
“The Bible is to help them preach, but you need the software to reach, and that’s key,” Johnson said.
Growing your church doesn’t just come out of preaching your Sunday morning sermon. Preaching brings your people in, but what keeps them there is having a church management software in place that provides you with data. The data allows you to stay in contact, check on members, and gives you a better understanding of your church’s demographics best to cater sermons, small groups, and activities while providing you with the necessary knowledge for your church.
When you minister over 100 churchgoers, it gets hard to manage and pastor without the right technology, he added. Johnson credits Church Community Builder’s ChMS for making him a better pastor and minister to the people God has called on him to minister.
Helping Older Congregants and Staff Embrace Technology
Pastor of Financial Stewardship and Men’s ministry at Idlewild Baptist, Rob Taylor, offered expert advice on how to help your older congregants and staff embrace new technology.
Engaging older congregants in church technology is essential. Churches need to remember that older congregants are already engaging in technology, so why not have them embrace the digital tools your church can provide them.
He included two suggestions: enlisting your younger congregants in helping your older members to set up your church app on their phones. And make sure you offer these congregants the customer service they deserve when they’re struggling.
It would help if you didn’t let your older congregants believe that transitioning to an online platform is a means to an end. Don’t make the transition all at once; if you say you’re changing how things work, people will get a sense of panic and fear, which can be stressful for both you and them. Give people time to embrace change.
What’s New in Church Technology
Pushpay CTO Aaron Senneff gathered with thought leaders to talk about the state of new technology in the church. Joined by Emily Farr, Strategic Partner Manager at Checkr, Jeremiah Dickson, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Alpos, and Jared Romana, Director of Sales & Partnerships at Full Method, Sennneff and the panel of church technology experts discussed the importance of embracing integrated technology.
Today, many churches work with different best-in-class services, but unfortunately, many of these tools aren’t connected through integration.
“To be as efficient and effective, you want to leverage as many integrations as possible,” said Dickson.
“To be able to steward the resources that you have and care for people and the business of the church, you have systems that were designed to do certain things, leverage those.”
Integrations add value to the church. They add value to the ministry, but the most value you add is making technologies easier for busy ministry professionals, added Senneff. With the use of integrated tools, church leaders can focus on ministry, so every time those tools connect, effective ministry is a plus.
To hear Molly’s keynote address and full Church Technology breakout sessions, along with all the other fantastic content from the conference, go to ChurchDisrupt.com.
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