With COVID now in our rear-view mirror and a new year ahead of us, there are many technologies we can employ to improve our churches and the ways we communicate with our members and guests. Here are five ways you can use technology to improve your church in 2024.
Video continues to be everywhere including in churches. And the tools to record and present it are readily available. You can stream your services live on YouTube and Facebook. You can also record those services for later viewing. You can also record activities at the church for both members and guests. And while quality video production equipment helps, you can invest in as little as an iPhone and video recording and editing software if your budget is tight.
Here are some of the paid video hosting sites for your recorded sermons and other media:
2. Community Portals
Church community portals provide a way to have an instant connection with your congregation. These software applications integrate giving, messaging, group attendance and a central point for interaction.
3. Faith Teams ChMS
Church Management Software typically drives the portal described above. And it does so much more as well. For example, here are a few of the capabilities with Faith Teams ChMS:
- Events management
- Events check-in
- Kids check-in
- Contribution management
- Online giving (app, web and SMS)
- Service planning
- Volunteer management and assignment
- Guest follow-up automation
- SMS and Email communications
- People and family contact management
4. Digital Giving
Digital giving is no longer an option for a church. It’s easy, convenient and most of us (boomers included) already pay and give digitally outside of church. It’s even more important to support all the places we can give with our phones and computers.
- Prepare your website to allow givers to use a form to give allowing for one time and recurring donations.
- Find a provider who can also support giving via a dedicated phone app.
- Advertise giving with QR codes and URLs. When people are inspired, they want to give and that can happen at any time.
- Allow giving via text messaging.
5. Online File Storage
Dropbox and Google Drive offer free online storage accounts. There’s no need to sift through paper documents you’d like to share with your fellow church workers, volunteers, and congregation. Google even offers online applications allowing you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations saving files in Google Drive ready for sharing.
Keep an eye out for AI in 2024. There was much hype last year about ChatGPT and other generative AI applications. This year, much of the hype is fading and real-world uses are emerging for AI in church activities. Here are a few ways you can use these tools to aid in communications with your congregation:
- Paste sermon notes and ask ChatGPT to generate a newsletter.
- Request social media posts from existing content sources. Namely, the Bible. For example, ask ChatGPT to list 10 Bible verses about forgiveness. You can then post those to your Facebook page.
- While your sermons should come from the heart, ChatGPT can help you with ideas around a particular topic. For example, “write a sermon highlighting the true meaning and focus of John 3:16.” And you can ask for this several times to find a baseline that fits your own thoughts allowing for quick re-writing or editing for your final sermon.