Being a tech-averse church or organization doesn’t serve you or your mission well. Tech ought to help your goals and mission. It’s supposed to help make your work light and execution effective. Like we’ve intimated in this post, that why it’s important to deal with tech-aversion. This could be a disdain, suspicion or plain disinterest in tech. We have an idea about what a tech-averse church may look like. Let’s highlight some of the characteristics of a church or organization leveraging tech.
First, let’s revisit an objection we alluded to in Excuses of Tech-Averse Church.
Tech doesn’t take away from spirituality per se. It is how we use it. Our motives and approach are important. Imagine if Jesus opted to walk instead of sail? What if Paul, the apostle, chose not to write? By the way, I can see him as a blogger and with a blue tick on Instagram and Twitter for good measure. I imagine him also having a formidable presence on the YouTube too.
Tech isn’t anti-mission. The question is, “How do we use it?”
Defining ‘Leveraging Tech’
A general definition or framework might be useful. The big idea here is that of an organization or team that not only owns but uses what they have. They’re students of what they have and what’s available they could access and use. This could be simple communication solutions or complex data management. Leveraging tech is about making the most of technologies. It is also looking into opportunities emerging technologies present.
It is not being passive. It can also include churches who deploy resource to build things. This could be apps, specialized websites / platforms, and other solutions. The goal? To solve problems or address challenges within and beyond our church. Technology serving mission and people. How cool.
Characteristics of Churches / Organisation Leveraging Tech
Mal Fletcher, in The Church of 2020, said: “Daniel heard from heaven but spoke Babylonian”. Tech-savvy organizations are likely better able to engage culture. Churches leveraging tech are likely to reach people through means they’re familiar with. When was the last time you sent or received a fax? While this is a rare possibility, it’s unlikely in the recent past.
Tech enables us to reach people where they are, in ways they can relate to.
Smarter Not Hader
A simple mail merge, for example, can save hours and human resources. Church management systems can give you data in realtime for informed decision making. Some automation can be invaluable, especially where there’s a small staff compliment. Tech can take care of the cumbersome tasks so your organization can focus on what matters most. Thus, tech can be a great focus-assist.
The simple idea: Being faithful with resources, monetary and otherwise. It is also about making sure that we’re using what we have at our disposal in the best possible way. It might mean forgoing expensive gear because there’s a cheaper, decent quality alternative. It might mean sacrificing for something more expensive. Sometimes, the more expensive is the right buy to meet the need. Buying cheap or expensive isn’t always good stewardship–buying or spending right, is.
Stewardship can also extend into which solutions you choose. Which online giving platform to use can be a good example.
Smarter-not-harder point, tech can be a matter of stewardship. Tech-savvy are more likely to get more value out of the resources they have.
Organizations leveraging tech are innovative as a by-product and not the object. Because they’re always learning and looking for ways of doing things better, innovation results. And, I must stress, not for the sake of it. What opportunities do we miss when we don’t take our mission-laden hearts, look at tech and wonder, “What if?”
We wield tech as a tool. It serves the mission and not the other way round. We use it to be effective in our endeavors. May we not be complacent.
What other qualities do you think churches / leveraging tech have?