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We Have The Technology

Lost In Space

I was recently at an event where Sam Neill was talking to some teenagers about his life, acting, and films. He spoke about the changes in technology. One of the things that he said was that each of them had sufficient technology in their pocket. Sam spoke about a great film maker that he knows who now does everything with his iPhone – record for film and edit for the final product.

I often encounter church communities that have an inadequate 21st-Century presence. Their website is so 1970’s. They have no social-media footprint. When people ask them to record an event, or more, to livestream an event, clergy have responded: “We don’t have that technology.” Well, you do. You have it in your pocket.

I repeat what I have said over and over on this site: if third-millennium technology frightens you and your community, get some teenagers around on a Friday afternoon/evening, give them pizza and something to drink, and leave them to it to produce a third-millennium presence of your community in the digital world in which most people live now.

What do you think?

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5 Responses to We Have The Technology

  1. I know you’ve posted about this previously, and generally I think to myself that, in the US at least, we’re doing a decent job with online information about the church.

    But as if to prove your point, last week I was looking for an Ash Wednesday service near where I work (which is an hour from where I live) and I couldn’t find anything, anywhere. There are actually three churches close enough to my office to visit..IF ONLY the service information were posted online!

    The problem is that keeping a church calendar online means having a person on hand who makes sure to keep things up to date. Most churches are too small to have a dedicated person for the web, and so they treat it as an afterthought. Many of the church websites that I’ve visited are six months or more out of date.

    I have to believe that our church will get with the times as we move forward into the decade. Because if we don’t, we’ll end up being that “funny little building down the road that no one ever goes into.”

    • Thanks, Jonathan.

      It’s good that we are in agreement.

      I want to press your point

      The problem is that keeping a church calendar online means having a person on hand who makes sure to keep things up to date. Most churches are too small to have a dedicated person for the web

      So, can you give me a better description of these “most churches”?

      We have city parishes of about 30 or so people who rotate preaching, for example, and have no employed pastor. Is that what you mean by “most churches”? I’m sure that amongst such a congregation there will be at least one person who uses facebook. I suggest they use a facebook page for their parish.

      Maybe someone could learn how to use an online calendar (eg. Google Calendar). It’s just, then, a matter of, over morning tea after a service, updating that as far ahead as this small congregation plans.

      If a pastor is employed – making connections into this millennium should be an essential part (read “requirement”) of ongoing ministry formation.

      I don’t think this should be the motivation – but the reality you already point to – if the community does not do this, they will move from being “too small” to being nonexistent.

      Blessings.

      • Yes, Bosco, you ought to be correct in this, but the reality–for my parish, at least–is that changes are made so frequently to the schedule that we telephone anyway. The schedule for Mass is sacrosanct enough, but I can’t begin to describe how much other things change, even at the last minute. Our Pastor is an older gentleman and that may be a factor in our reluctant Web presence.

  2. I’m an administrator for about ten Facebook pages, some my own and some for community groups I’m involved in.

    But I’d be reluctant to use my personal Facebook account to manage a page for church unless:
    1) I knew that I was part of a team of people doing so (ie not just one person stuck with the job) and
    2) The church leadership put in place clear guidelines about what should be posted and when, and how to respond to requests (eg to the member of the public who posts on the page asking for food or money or support for their cause).

    I’ve just seen too many lay people hung out to dry, or left carrying the can for volunteer work that’s just not sustainable.

    • Thanks for these important points, Mary.

      That the church leadership is not integrally involved and overseeing such a page had not entered my head.

      My experience is the opposite: a kind layperson has, some time back, volunteered and, with a little bit of web knowledge, has produced a reasonable website for its time. But the church leadership has no direct access to it – if they want to put something up it is sent to the volunteer who might get to put it up… Or worse: the volunteer is no longer around; no one knows how to change the website and bring it up to date… Sometimes a church no longer even knows passwords or anything about getting onto the site of their community!

      None of these points need to be an issue with a facebook page.

      Blessings.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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