Church Communications Conference 2024

Slow to Adapt New Technology and The Process to Overcome the New Tech Jitters

Justin Funk

Slow to Adapt New Technology and The Process to Overcome the New Tech Jitters

Justin Funk

Why are churches so slow to adopt new technology? Should churches even be faster at adopting new technology at all? The Gutenberg Bible was the first book to ever be printed using a printing press. So as church communicators – our history with technology goes back a long way!

The Gutenberg Bible was named after its creator Johannes Gutenberg. It was the first significant book printed using movable type in the West. The invention of the Gutenberg press in the mid-15th century revolutionized the world of print and information dissemination, sparking a cultural renaissance. Gutenberg’s press used individual, reusable metal letters called ‘type’ arranged in a frame to create a page of text, which was then inked and pressed onto paper.

This was a radical departure from the laborious process of manually transcribing texts. In the 1450s, churches were among the early adopters of this technological marvel. They recognized the press’s potential to reproduce the Bible, quickly and efficiently. This led to a widespread democratization of knowledge as the Bible and other texts became more affordable and accessible, transforming the landscape of religious education and discourse. This early adoption of technology by the churches of the 1450s is a testament to their foresight and willingness to harness innovation for the propagation of faith.

I think it’s good for our churches to have a healthy conservatism and wisdom toward evaluating the costs of new technology. We just must be on guard to not get “stuck in our ways” and miss clear benefits that technology can offer our ministries. Let’s follow the pattern of our brothers and sisters in the 1450s to take advantage of technology for the kingdom.

How do we do that? Here are some categories and questions to ask:

  1. New Tech Jitters: Will everyone get the hang of this new thing? 👵👴👩‍💻👨‍💻
  2. Tech Brain Freeze: Will it take forever to learn? 📚👩‍🏫
  3. Dollar Signs: Can we afford this and is it a smart use of our money? 💰💭
  4. Tech Fails: Will the software freeze at the worst possible time, like during Sunday service? 💻🛠️
  5. Tech FOMO: Can everyone join in, no matter their tech at home or how savvy they are? 🌐👫
  6. Change is Scary: How do we move forward without leaving anyone behind? 💒❤️
  7. Playing Nice: Will this new tech fit in with our existing systems? 🖥️🔄
  8. Stay on Target: Can we keep our eyes on the mission and not get lost in the tech sauce? 🙏✨


How would I address these questions at bltn?

I co-founded bltn with my brother and we have to grapple with these questions. We don’t want our service to make anyone’s job harder or hinder anyone’s ministry.
  1. New Tech Jitters: bltn’s digital and print bulletins are meant to be drop-in replacements for your current print bulletin. If you play with the settings, your congregation may not even notice that you switched!
  2. Tech Brain Freeze: We keep in mind that our primary users are not the most tech savvy people in the congregation. We try to keep everything as simple as we can.
  3. Dollar Signs: bltn is a bargain for the bang it provides, making it a smart choice for our church funds. If a church is small and has almost no-budget – we offer special plans to make it as affordable as possible.
  4. Tech Fails: Our fallback is to always deliver bulletins. We’ve over 1.5 million bulletins and our infrastructure is rock solid.
  5. Tech FOMO: We are always looking toward the future and new ways to get communications out. We roll out new channels to our customers when new methods to reach people are developed.
  6. Change is Scary: Change is scary! We help churches introduce channels at a pace that is right for their congregation. As mentioned in #1 – you could get started with a print bulletin that mimics your current bulletin and know one will notice the change!
  7. Playing Nice: We push content out on the channels that churches already use and, as much as possible, don’t make people adopt new systems.
  8. Stay on Target: bltn isn’t just about tech. It’s about helping us spread the love and stay connected as a church family.


The Bottom Line

Just like we are thoughtful about how we build bltn to serve the church…. Be thoughtful about how you use technology to further your ministry and God’s kingdom! We have a long tradition starting from the Guttenberg Press (or before!) to Instagram Stories and beyond. Let’s not drop the ball.


Your Move!

Want to know more about bltn? Hit us up for more info or a demo https://churchcommunications.com/BLTN.

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