Every credible house of worship (HoW) has the mission of sharing its faith with as many people possible. HoW leaders believe that their faith will make adherents’ lives better as compared to life without faith and without a spiritual center. Their mission is very similar to the corporate world, whose members have a mission to get their products into as many people’s lives as possible. They believe that their products will enhance consumers’ well-being. To fulfill their respective missions, HoWs and corporations use many of the same general tools. Allow me to explain.
The Corporate Side Of HoW
When we think of a HoW (and ministry), our first impression is typically that it’s a structure that contains a space in which people gather for worship. Without question, the worship space is vital to weekly ministry. In the worship space, we typically find audio, video and lighting (AVL) technologies that are used to create powerful worship experiences. In addition, most HoWs have an office, or an office complex, in which the corporate work takes place. That’s work related to finances, data management and correspondence.
The reality today, however, is that a HoW office, coupled with computers, mobile phones, old-fashioned landline telephones and printed correspondence, has become an extremely important place for cultivating ministry, as well. The AVL technologies used in the worship space, combined with the technologies used in the office environment, are now essential tools that forward-looking HoWs use to fulfill their mission. Let’s look a bit closer at the fundamental reasons why tools used in the office environment have become more important than ever in helping HoWs fulfill their mission.
Benefits of Modern Corporate Tools
Modern Methods Of Contact
First, technologies have become more efficient and nearly ubiquitous. In corporations and in HoW offices, typewriters and early word processors enabled people to create nearly perfect printed documents; those materials were either stored or shared using the postal system. Eventually, the adoption of computers and pricy printers took printed-material creation to another level. Computers have now become incredibly powerful and highly efficient. Corporations and HoWs still use them to create printed documents, but they also use them to create digital content that is sharable via email, websites and social-media platforms.
Effective Data Management
Second, similarly to how corporations use computers to manage their data, HoWs use computers, along with corresponding software and applications, to manage their financial data, parishioner data and visitor data, as well as to conduct market research. Respectfully, HoWs that aren’t using computers to manage data are missing out on opportunities to organize, manage and share pertinent information more efficiently, whether with individuals or with large groups of people.
Third, computers, along with tablets and smartphones, have provided new types of ministry, which effective social-media strategies help drive. For example, Facebook, as one of many social-media platforms, has approximately 2.85 billion users in more than 130 countries. YouTube has more than two billion users in more than 100 countries. These social-media platforms, as well as others, are fertile ground for HoWs to fulfill their mission.
Fourth, the office conference room is where major corporate decisions are typically made, and HoW leaders similarly gather in technology-infused conference rooms in which the technology helps them to review important data. They also use presentation technologies, interactive technologies and applications (such as Zoom) to interact with leaders in other locations, as well as to interact remotely with congregants, to reach informed decisions about their ministry.
Fifth, corporations and government agencies often use secure, interactive technologies to transmit sensitive (i.e., private) communications to a person or persons. Technology for private conversations had been used prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but it has now become extremely popular in HoWs, as well. The reason for the growth is simple enough: People were—many still are—staying at home, yet their personal health, mental health and spiritual health required attention. The secure systems help people who are staying in isolation interact with counselors and encouragers. Users know that anything said or expressed will remain secure and confidential.
A Trend Toward Technology
I believe that we all agree that the number of people using social media will continue to grow. And, obviously, social media will constantly be reinvented as platforms fall in and out of favor with users around the world. I believe that smartphones will become more powerful, and that they will enable newer ways to communicate with individuals and groups of all sizes. So as better to serve the HoW market, I believe we should understand how many of the technologies we know now—and how many of the technologies that we’ll eventually experience—can be adopted by HoWs as valuable tools to help them fulfill their mission.
That’s what I believe. What do you believe?
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