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  • Living Stones Ministry

    The mission of Living Stones Ministry is to be used by God to build up His body, the Church, by providing software tools and building blocks

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Study Shows Churches Not Making Full Use of the Power of the Internet February 8th, 2006

The Christian Post is reporting on a study by Ellison Research that reports that churches aren’t taking full advantage of the power of the Internet.

Here are some interesting stats:

  • Relatively few Protestant churches use e-mail prayer chains, have an e-mail church newsletter, or have an online member directory (only four percent)
  • The study found that church website content is usually static rather than interactive. Content usually consists of a map or directions to the church, a calendar of upcoming events, a statement of beliefs, and pages for specific ministry departments. Half of the church websites list staff emails.
  • Less likely to appear are Bible study material or helps, sermon transcripts, upcoming sermon titles or topics, sermons available in streaming audio, a bulletin board, forum, or chat room, sermons in streaming video, testimonies, and a way to donate online (two percent).
  • Larger churches are dramatically more likely to have a website and their sites tend to be more sophisticated, with far more content. For example, 60 percent of large churches with a Web site provide special pages for youth or teens, compared to only 25 percent of small churches.
Barna on Church Technology Use February 7th, 2006

The new report from Barna I referenced in my last post pointed me back to this previous report.

Here are some interesting stats:

  • Nearly six out of every ten Protestant churches (57%) now have a website. That is up from just one-third of all Protestant churches in 2000, an increase of 68%.
  • Surprisingly, a majority of churches sends e-mail blasts to their congregations. Such technology was relatively inaccessible to churches at the start of the millennium, but 56% now rely on the process for reaching their people. Less than half of all small churches use this technology (44%) compared to two-thirds of all churches that attract more than 100 adults.
  • The number of churches that provide pew Bibles has rapidly declined, from 86% in 2000 to 80% today.

The article closes with this quote from George Barna: “During the next half of this decade,” the researcher commented, “we expect increased broadband access, podcasting, and ubiquitous adoption of handheld mobile computing devices by consumers to further alter the way churches conduct ministry.”

Fascinating Barna Research February 7th, 2006

The Barna Group has a new study out on the use of technology by Americans with breakdowns by faith categories.

Here are some of the interesting quotes:

“The research also points out that born again Christians account for a significant slice – 40%, to be exact – of the consumer technology market. In fact, evangelical Christians – who are a subset of the born again segment – are more likely than the norm to have cell phones, desktop computers, and Internet access.”

“The lure of the Internet is one major reason why Americans have integrated computers into their lives. Currently, two-thirds of adults have Internet access from home (67%), up 34% since 2000. In fact, among the fastest-growing technologies in America is high-speed Internet access, which has nearly doubled since 2003. Overall, 41% of Americans have such robust Internet hookups, split virtually down the middle between those using DSL and those relying upon cable for their high-speed connection.”

“Kinnaman also commented on the role of technology in shaping the faith of Americans. ‘Families should pay particular attention to how they use technology and how it shapes their children’s lifestyles and attitudes. Congregational leaders should strive to integrate media and technology into the efforts of the church – but within the boundaries of their ministry vision and values. Because technology is so diverse and is changing so quickly, no church can be all things technological to all people. America is now a nation of many mission fields – that is, a country filled with divergent micro-audiences, each using different media and technologies to make their lives work. Church leaders would benefit from having a clear sense about what audiences they reach, how they can use technology to deepen ministry relevance, and how they can help congregants develop biblical perspectives about the ever-changing world of technology.'”

This is why Living Stones exists.