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This is a guest post by Ricardo Hernandez.
Technology is always evolving, and it’s vital for church leaders to understand how to respond to these updates. If you look back 20 years or more, you’ll notice how drastically the landscape has altered. Shifting tech trends are increasingly playing a more prominent role in influencing how the church reaches people with the gospel.
Today, many churches across the world are starting to leverage technology to great effect. But as everything continues to change around us, what trends should churches focus on in 2019?
Mobile use has been on an upward trajectory ever since the launch of the first smartphone. It’s the channel of choice for many churchgoers, especially millennials. We’ve seen churches begin to actively use mobile technology to target individuals and grow their relationship with members.
To better engage this younger generation, you have to reach them where they are. And, that’s on mobile.
Almost 92% of all millennials own a smartphone, and the vast majority are active on social media. Being present on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook opens an opportunity for faith leaders to serve an even bigger audience.
In keeping with a mobile-first strategy, churches are also optimizing their websites for mobile devices. And with Google now changing its search engine algorithms to favor mobile-friendly friendly sites, expect this trend to continue into 2019.
Another prevailing church tech trend is the use of apps, both on mobile and TV. Churches are utilizing apps for a myriad of reasons such as a source of up-to-date information on church events and compile an archive of all past sermons. Many religious leaders are also using church apps to offer mid-week sermons and interact with members in real-time. These apps feature tools such as a prayer request wall and social media integration where members can submit prayer requests and comment on social media posts respectively. This trend is only going to grow as churchgoers become more tech-savvy and digitally-native.
Live streaming is no longer the sole domain of megachurches with big budgets. 2019 will be remembered as the year small and medium-size faith organizations joined the digital frontier with live streaming services and video-on-demand. Thanks to the rise of OTT services like Roku, churches can now stream their events and sermons at a fraction of the cost.
Roku’s streaming potential has given churches enormous potential to increase viewership and reach more people across the world. With the service, church members can view live church services or see past sermons on their TV.
With a Roku channel, churches can broadcast their Sunday services live and enable those who cannot be physically present due to sickness, old age or personal commitments to participate. It helps keep members connected to the church and allows them to share the joy with their friends and family.
If you are yet to join the trend, you might want to consider it. Roku lists all channels publicly making it easier to attract new viewers. Content solutions such as MAZ can help get your church on television apps such as Roku easily and with features that will fit your church’s needs.
The church has embraced technology and given that the year is still young, expect to see several church tech trends becoming more standard. Video streaming, church apps, and the shift to a mobile-first approach are just three of the major trends. There are many more ways in which faith-based organizations can leverage technology and attain new heights.