Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Churches Turning to Technology

The Barna Group, in a study released today, has discovered that more and more churches are now embracing technology.

The survey of Protestant churches found that: . . .

  • 57 percent of churches now have Web sites, up from 33 percent in 2000.
  • 70 percent of mainline denomination churches now have Web sites, which showed the greatest increase over 2000 numbers, up 79 percent.
  • The churches most likely to have a Web site today are those located in the western states (62 percent), are large (84 percent) and have primarily white congregations (62 percent)
  • 62 percent of churches now use a large-screen projection system, up from 39 percent in 2000.
  • In 2000, charismatic churches were twice as likely to use projectors, but mainline denominations have gained ground in 2005.
  • The larger the church the more likely it is to use a projector.
  • 56 percent of churches regularly send out mass e-mailings or, as Barna refers to them, "e-mail blasts."
  • In 2000, only 7 percent of churches offered electronic funds transfer as an option for the congregation to donate money to the church - today, 12 percent make it available.
  • Only 8 percent of churches receive communications via a satellite dish, up from just 7 percent in 2000.
  • 61 percent of churches integrate video content into their worship services, while 62 percent use live drama.
  • The use of technology such as big screens can be attributed to a decline in the use of pew Bibles, with only 80 percent of churches making them available today over 86 percent who did so in 2000.

  • George Barna, who directed the study, sees even more technology trends coming down the road. "During the next half of this decade," he says in the report, "we expect increased broadband access, podcasting and ubiquitous adoption of handheld mobile computing devices by consumers to further alter the way churches conduct ministry."

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