Church Technology & Mission

I presented a session, Technology & the Mission yesterday at a church planting bootcamp . Session Description: "There are numerous opportunities for churches to use technology to expand their reach, spread the gospel and gather people to your local church. Come learn practical ways to enhance your ministry and become incarnational-minded in how you do online ministry. Learn from case studies and best practices from churches that have been successful online."

The two main thrusts dealt with (1) how are you as the church communicating to the world online and (2) how are your reaching out incarnationally to people through the web.  For example, if:

  • – American ages 13 to 24 now spend more time online than they do in front of the TV.
  • – 64% of wired Americans have used the Internet for spiritual or religious purposes.
  • – During usability studies, 88% of web users went to a search engine first to accomplish a task and 53% of searchers didn’t scroll down past the first 4-5 results above the ‘page fold’.
  • – MySpace (in terms of market share) is the top site on the Internet.
  • – 45% of internet users, or about 60 million Americans, say that the internet helped them make big decisions or negotiate their way through major episodes in their lives in the previous two years

What should the church be doing in response to this?  I presented 4 best practice cases where churches incarnationally used the internet to reach the lost and minister the gospel to them.  I'll post the mp3 of the session when it's ready. I'm thinking that in order for the mp3 to be effective I'll need to tie it in to my slideshow (I had 45 slides) or else it won't make much sense.  I used a lot of examples and case studies to demonstrate the point.  The presentation is all part of my plan to become a Church Technology Missiologist (You have to pick a niche since Ed Stetzer has wrapped up the missiology corner.)  

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5 Comments
  • sean michael murphy

    August 31, 2006, 6:02 am

    reach out incarnationally through the web?
    really?
    could you reach out incarnationally through tv when people were spending more time on that?

    is there anything incarnational that you can do with either?

    whatever happened to life on life, relational discipleship/evangelism?

    I hate to go on a rant, but to use the word incarnational here just might make me go listen to David Hasselhoff…

  • Matt Heerema

    August 31, 2006, 7:56 pm

    Are you including tech like sound systems, lighting, a/v, or mostly Internet? This is a cool goal.

  • D. Goodmanson

    August 31, 2006, 8:37 pm

    Sean,

    TV is not relational, but the web does allow some relational activitiy. Mind you, the goal is to lead toward physical relational discipleship/evangelism but the initial connection is on the web. We have ministry leaders that came to us (and became Christians) through MySpace. We have people who came to get the ‘married by a pastor’ rubber-stamp after finding our optimized pages for pre-marriage counseling and in the process, they came to Christ. These people are people who love Jesus and came through these online activity.

    Matt,

    Only internet.

  • Melissa (Larry's wife) :-)

    September 1, 2006, 4:54 am

    When will the MP3 be available? Can we also get notes from your presentation?

  • D. Goodmanson

    September 1, 2006, 12:45 pm

    I may try to sync the presentation (mp3) with the notes (powerpoint). One w/o the other wouldn’t make sense.