Over the past decades, technology has continued to lap itself yearly — but trendy tech seems to come and go. With all these advancements it can be difficult to tell what your church needs and what’s just a fad. In this checklist, you’ll find the top 5 technologies your church needs to be successful in 2019. We’ll cover everything from a functional website to a church management solution. This church tech checklist is designed not only to save you and your team time but also increase engagement with your community.
A FUNCTIONAL CHURCH WEBSITE
WHY: This seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many churches have a website built before Facebook came into existence. In this day and age, a competent website is crucial to your church’s success. Think about how often you check out a new store, restaurant, tire shop, or hotel website before physically going to the location: what makes you think churchgoers are any different? Roughly nine out of  people do their research online before making a purchase or visiting a store in person. Your website is the new front door of your church, and if it doesn’t work well or accurately represent your message, you will be missing out on all those people before they ever set foot in your church. Utilizing resources like Word Press makes it incredibly easy to have a beautiful functional website at a very reasonable price. Check out our own website grader and see how yours stacks up!
ONLINE & MOBILE GIVING
WHY: Capitol One recently reported that 1 in 4 Americans rarely-to-never carry cash, and when they do, the average is less than [$25]. With Millennials that ratio increases to [one] in [three]. Carrying cash is becoming more and more inconvenient. So when the offering bucket goes by, it’s not that people don’t want to give, it’s that the method available is inconvenient for a large portion of people! Having alternative methods of giving is extremely important to continue growing your church. With various online and mobile giving solutions, your congregation can set up recurring giving, which provides your church consistent revenue that allows you to plan for the future. This is a must-have for your church to be successful in 2019.
CHURCH MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
WHY: You probably have a church management solution in place to keep up with your congregation’s addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. While this is valuable, some Church management solutions now have the ability to do so much more! Church management solutions now have congregation-facing tools that allow your members to sign up for events, give to the church, track their volunteering, and more. When you have all these interactions stored on one comprehensive member profile, you can more fully understand your congregation’s interests. Even further, advanced church management solutions have easy-to-use reporting and insights so you can identify when someone’s engagement seems to be slowing down. A once-regular volunteer hasn’t been to service in a month? Time to give them a call, let them know you miss them and see if they need your support.
Modern church management solutions are also improving usability, so all of these capabilities are available on your phone, and have drag and drop functionality so anyone can build reports or design sign-up forms for your website.
A COMMUNICATION TOOL
WHY: Keep your congregation up to date on everything going on outside of Sunday morning. You have announcements, worship, and sermon all packed into an hour every Sunday. All that information is going to be tough for your congregation to remember once they leave the building. Having a tool to send out updates to specific groups in your congregation is key to helping them continue to grow in their faith.
Now, I am not telling you to spam your congregation! That would just be rude. Make sure there is real value in every communication you send out because if there isn’t, they will stop looking at the emails — and then you’re back to square one.
Bonus Points: Pairing this with an advanced church management solution allows you to segment your congregation so you can communicate with them on topics relevant to them, like sending youth group updates out to just parents of kids of youth group age! This allows you to keep the value high in every communication and personalized to individual community needs.
A FACEBOOK PAGE
WHY: I know, I know: you don’t need to hear another rant about how your church needs to be on Facebook. You know all the data about how everyone is on Facebook; it’s one of the most used platforms in the world. There are 168 hours in a week, and your average congregant spends one hour a week engaging with you during your weekend service. How can you stay connected to them during the other 167 hours? Utilizing social media to continue to lead your church throughout the week is an amazing free tool. This is a huge opportunity to not only engage your current congregation but also to grow your church. Facebook is a community tool, not a megaphone. Keep the conversation going after they walk out your church doors on Sunday. Call them to action, ask questions, and share success stories. Facebook allows your congregation to stay connected and encouraged throughout their week.
Utilizing social media is the greatest tool to stay connected to those people the other 5 weeks they’re not in the auditorium. Facebook isn’t an afterthought; it’s a must for your church to continue to thrive in this digital age.
Bonus Points: Utilize Facebook groups to manage and interact with volunteers and subsets of your general congregation.
Technology is the greatest asset we have as a church to continue to nurture and grow the congregation. It’s also ever-changing, complicated, and, with so many options, difficult to know where to start. This checklist is your starting point. Whether your church is small or large, these five technologies will help you engage and grow your church. Make 2019 the best year your church has ever seen!
Who is Tech4Ministry?
We’re an energetic Church Marketing Agency that serves hundreds of churches around the country providing skilled use of online tools including Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Local Pack, Google Ad Grants, Facebook Custom Audiences, Facebook Look-a-like Audiences, Instagram, Vimeo, and YouTube. We build custom church websites, provide church consultation, and create a focused strategy for your website and advertising plans.