by Jared Massey/ September 27, 2021
We live in a glorious era of technology. Our phones alone contain far more processing power than the first space shuttles. We can have conversations, order pizza, even find our future spouse—all from the palm of our hand. Even the most common individual has some of the greatest knowledge in history at their fingertips 24/7, and we can connect with our friends and acquaintances at all hours of the day. With all of this knowledge and connectivity, the questions we must ask ourselves are, “How do we leverage technology to reach the next generation?” and “How do we connect with people outside of the Sunday morning service?” Both of these questions are important and will drive ministry methods for years to come. Let’s take a look at some ways to connect throughout the week.
Updated September 27th, 2021: Technology still plays a massive part in how our world does ministry. With the pandemic forcing many to make a jump to virtual churches, how we extend our reach using technology has become more crucial than ever. Whether through social media, gaming, apps, or some up and coming technology, you can use it to extend your ministry reach.
Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay, at least for a while. Desperate attempts by others to recreate the success of Facebook have failed while Facebook continues to grow and strengthen its position. Even if your church has a Facebook page, you are likely not using it to connect with kids and parents during the week. It is a great idea to build a page just for your kids’ ministry. There you can share the lesson’s main point each week, share memory verses, share event details, and—my personal favorite—share activities that families can do throughout the week to reinforce the lesson from Sunday. I’ve even shared recipes that families can make together that point back to the lesson. This method is more about connecting with parents, since most kids are too young for Facebook.
Today, there are many software programs available that help you connect your students to the Bible through fun games. The education market has discovered that game-based learning is a great way to get kids learning math and science, but it is also a great way for them to learn about God. Our Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge ministry has an app that tracks giving, provides articles and stories about missionaries, and gives kids badges as they hit reading and giving goals.
Streaming has become the new normal over the past year. Whether your church is streaming from a phone or has a mult-camera professional setup, it is worth doing. Streaming gives members the chance to join live and feel like they are part of the service and also lets families out of the usually set times for church services, enabling them to view it any time if they missed it. These recordings can also be used as future content.
Depending on your budget, this may be a great option. Many churches are building apps that connect with parents and students to share, not only information, but also resources. Apps can be expensive, but there are many companies that offer limited features for a reasonable price.
There will never be a replacement for a good, old-fashioned phone call. Use your fancy smartphone to call (or text) a volunteer or parent and invite them out for coffee. It just may be the best way to utilize technology.
Technology, no matter how wonderful, can never replace our need for connection with others. It’s part of the Imago Dei (image of God) within each of us. No Facebook page, app, or game could ever replace the connection of a handwritten thank you note, a phone call, or a personal visit.