Religious Groups Don't Need To 'Get Religion' When It Comes To Tech

from the a-time-tested-model dept

There have been plenty of stories about how religious groups are starting to embrace new technologies, but it would be a mistake to somehow characterize churches as perennial technological laggards. For over 2000 years, religious groups have had to reinvent themselves. Remember Vatican II? Or should that be Vatican 2.0? And churches have always understood the multi-channel approach, never worrying that Sunday-morning telecasts would hurt attendance and collection plate revenues. Meanwhile, the Bible remains a top seller despite the fact that nobody owns its contents. So it’s really no surprise that religious content is being pushed through new media like cellphones and so-called “godcasts”. Instead of being threatened by the ability of people to download salvation, pastors are fighting fire with fire — producing viral videos that get people interested in going to church. Though there have been a few notable warnings condemning technology, it’s nothing compared to the more radical rhetoric coming from many major media execs. So instead of being surprised that churches grok new technology, perhaps they have something to teach… other than the obvious stuff.

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Comments on “Religious Groups Don't Need To 'Get Religion' When It Comes To Tech”

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Russ McGuire says:

Blocking tomorrow's technology today?

The problem isn’t necessarily organizations, like churches, being consciously opposed to new technologies. Instead, the problem tends to be that organizations struggle to anticipate how technologies they may be inadvertently inhibiting today could actually dramatically impact them tomorrow.

This article gives an example of what I mean:

As the mobility age ( radically changes how businesses and non-profits operate, decisions made today could have a dramatic impact on the ability to succeed tomorrow!

(As always, my comments don’t necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of my employer.)

dorpus says:


Just to pose a rhetorical question, I asked if there are ways to make Christian improvements to the game of Go. As it stands, Go is a bloodthirsty, win-lose game where the object of the game is to gouge out both of your opponent’s eyes and kill the cripple.

That started a huge firestorm of new threads about “improvements to Go” on, far more than I anticipated.

SRNissen says:

Re: Hehehe

“Huge firestorm?”

You must be new to usenet. In the interest of letting people without newsreaders follow what I’m saaying, I’ll be linking to googlegroups.

Now, you created this bit of trollishness:

26 replies and around 10 new threads on the subject.

Channeling a well known australian, let me say to you; that’s not an arguement. *This* is an arguement:

“KT Boundr Event.” 1720 replies.

Or this one:

Did Darwinism Smooth the Way for Nazi Ideology? 1063 replies.

Ben McNelly (user link) says:

You said it brother...

“Religious Groups Don’t Need To ‘Get Religion’ When It Comes To Tech”

Here are some things that held Churches/Ministries back in times past, and still will for some…

  • Churches are usually known as cheapskates, so they get charged extra by proxie…

  • They are notoriously famous for being technology illiterate.
  • Generation and culture gaps creates a divide with the church leaders and the people who can develop and maintain the technology.
  • Decreased understanding leads to miss matched budgets, that leaves people trying to do too much with too little.
  • Power struggles and politics, (what’s new) plus no technical knowledge other than “the power button is on, it should be working??” leads to going through volunteers faster than a rocket propelled greased bunny on ice…

Thanks God there is a movement of churches that realize that in today’s world, the most effective way to reach people with Gospel hasn’t’t changed; It is still to get their attention, just the methods have changed. We live in a society that is technology driven, and we are competing with tv and the internet for their minds and souls.

The normal church is about as compelling to a young person as salad at an ice cream shop. people don’t even bat an eye. And it doesn’t’t stop with young people. Every generation is tired and worn out on tradition and bull. People don’t need religion, they need to see Jesus in us, loving them.

To be effective soul winners, we have to be effective communicators. Technology is not the fix all its just a step in a direction that can touch them in their world.

Media and technology are way outside the churches comfort zone. They have to step out, take risks, and get outside the box. We will see some churches do a good job of this, while others abuse it… All in all though, its just a small step in a very large movement to connect with people in new ways.

note: I like how the article intends to emphasize the churches aptitude for change. Slightly delusional, but it made me smile 🙂
– in all seriousness, I think we need to see allot more people just sharing Jesus and truth, than people taking up money and trying to run a catalog store…

Brother Bill (user link) says:

Tech Savy Churches

I find the topic of religion and technology quite fascinating.

Think about how revolutionary the printing press was. The very first book printed was the Bible!

Today’s new technology is peer 2 peer file sharing (ala BitTorrent).

If you go to my website you will see a cool example of how we can use today’s technology to deliver messages from the past. I have 5 years of Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s radio show “Thru The Bible” recorded in the 1970’s.

I have full permission from the content providers to distribute the files.


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