Last week I spoke with Jesse Noyes from the Boston Herald about how churches use technology for his article, “Lord Works in High Tech Ways,” which basically explores how churches are using emerging technology like blogs and podcasts.
Church Marketing Sucks and our parent Center for Church Communication get a mention, though I didn’t say anything smart enough to get quoted. I thought my comment about podcasting enabling pastors to take sermons beyond Sunday was pretty good, though I guess it wasn’t incredibly inspired.
Someone definitely smarter than me made a good point about how Christians have always taken advantage of technology:
But since the advent of radio, conservative evangelicals have been the first to embrace the marketing clout technology provides, said Nancy Ammerman, a sociology of religion professor at Boston University. “There is something about the impulse to convert… that has long made evangelicals use whatever tools are available to them,”
I’m no historian, but I think even long before radio you’ll find Christians using the latest technology, whether it’s the printing press or improved navigation methods to reach people. Web sites are the new visitor packets. Blogs are the new newsletters. Podcasts are the new radio.
As always, there are the technology detractors. Near the end of the article there is concern about the drawbacks of technology and “creating a strictly virtual community.”
But if anyone using technology is going to overcome that problem, wouldn’t it be the church, where we actually meet face to face every Sunday? It seems to me that the church is uniquely equipped in that way since fellowship is so central. Technology is just another tool to more easily build that community.
There’s also this random comment from Daniel Harrell, associate minister at Park Street Church in Boston where they have a blog and a Craigslist-like forum:
“The whole evangelical movement has just bought lock, stock and barrel into the blogging format.”
Considering how many people still scratch their head when they hear the term ‘blog,’ I find this hard to believe. Then again, I’m probably just jealous that Harrell got quoted and I didn’t.