People have been putting together their top list of things they think may happen with technology in 2016. As a counselor, I live in the world of what I can control and so I want to do a similar list, but with what I can influence. So this blog article looks at the top 10 things that will happen in 2016 with church technology.
I’ll be honest, this is a completely biased list of things I would love to see done and goals that I have for ChurchMag this year. It does require more than just my voice, but I believe these are thoughts imparted from God for our community (That’s not a Jesus-juke, it’s what I truly hold to).
So without further ado, here is my list.
1. Church Technology Talks About Feminine Inequality In Technology
- GamerGate is a thing…
- Gender discrimination in technology is not only now known, but people are fighting against it…
- Women are leaving technology positions left and right…
- Sexism is present, and I don’t know if it is just a secular thing…
And where does the Church stand on it? Church technology has a chance to bring this up to their congregation. We have the ability to be the light of Jesus and actually doing something good in this space.
2. Pornography Is Not Just A Male Thing
Did you know that the percentage of people who are struggling with porn has increased. But not with men, that’s actually dropped. It’s jumped dramatically with women and while some of the resources out there are good for either gender, most within the church are geared towards technology.
Here are questions that I want to be discussed this year:
- Clearly this is not a male lust thing, how do we go about serving women struggling with pornography? How is it different and the same?
- The Church has been too accusatory or silent about this topic, when and how will we take ownership of this whole topic besides providing “Band-Aid fixes?”
- With mobile devices, this isn’t just a “block the Internet” fix (as you can tell, Band-Aid fixes drive me crazy), so how do we effectively address this topic?
- When we do address the topic, we make it too niche (parents fix your kids, youth pastors fix our kids, men’s group fix our men). What does it look like for the whole Church to address this as a whole topic?
- How can Church technology be at the core of these developments?
3. Church Technology Is More Than A Gadget Ministry
I’ve seen some bloggers begin to take this on last year, but I want to see a huge push for this. As suggested in the last point, church technology is, in and of itself, a ministry. But too many times I see us talking about filtering out noise on the soundboard, best tablets to use for sermons, the one device that will revolutionize your youth group, the perfect time to tweet, or SEO hacks to get you at the first position on Google.
The one thing that is missing from many of these discussions is how God and His divine purpose is fleshed out. I don’t mean to spiritualize every Church technology discussion we have, but we are too infrequently, at least to my standards, talking about the implications this has for evangelism, discipleship, worship, and the impact it has on our souls.
4. The Internet Becomes An Effective Place to Evangelize and Disciple & Probably Be Persecuted
If you have been around ChurchMag in 2015, you’ve heard me talk about how social media and blogging can be used for evangelism and discipleship. These were starter queries to get the discussion going. Some people have fully bought into it while others are still either skeptical or down right resistant to the notion. But I believe the case has been made that both of these things can happen online and should. The question is: how? Drive by witnessing doesn’t work on these platforms because it’s easy to be blocked. So we need to figure out how and forward with these strategies.
2015 was the time to dream about this. 2016 is the time to go and do it.
With figuring out how to be effective at evangelism and discipleship online comes the risk of persecution. And I don’t mean getting blocked by someone. For me, this looks like threats, vulgarity in comments, and being targeted by people with harassment or more. It’s the risk that comes with being a proactive Christian and with the added anonymity of the Internet, has huge concerns. How do we navigate this well but not be turned off by the push-back that awaits from believers and non-believers alike?
5. Video Quality from Churches Online Will Get Better
If you go onto YouTube right now and look for content from churches, you get one of three things:
- A church that has not posted anything in the last year and it’s a wasteland of how ineffective they are online.
- Someone is posting regularly but the quality is not good.
- Someone is posting amazing content, but infrequently.
There may be exceptions to this, but as it stands now, church videos are EMBARRASSING. We need to up the quality at which we post and do more, better.
Maybe this means taking a master class on videography from Brady Shearer. Maybe it means paying for a full-time church communication position. Maybe it means re-framing how you do advertising and your whole creative process.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not asking your church to create a budget to purchase a 4K camera, tanked out computer for production, green screens, and everything else. You can do amazing stuff with your personal smartphone. You could even start by turning up your video quality by being more intentional about the content you create. (Sounds like a future article that needs to be written.)
Five points seems like a good, strong blogging number, though I am sure I have more to come.