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Your Parish Doesn't Need a Technology Strategy

BY Matthew Warner

| Posted 4/27/12 at 5:04 PM

 

Your parish (or your diocese) doesn't need a technology strategy. Here's why.

"The internet comes along and it's mysterious and suddenly we need an email strategy and a social media strategy and a web strategy and a mobile strategy.

No, we don't.

It's still people. We still have one and only one thing that matters, and it's people. All of these media are conduits, they are tools that human beings use to waste time or communicate or calculate or engage or learn. Behind each of the tools is a person. Do you have a story to tell that person? An engagement or a benefit to offer them? Figure out the people part and the technology gets a whole lot simpler." - Seth Godin

The problem with a lot of organizations in the Church right now - who are even making an effort at embracing new communication technologies - is that they have the wrong strategy. We have to do a better job at connecting the use of powerful, new media tools with our mission as the Church.

The main reason so many in Church leadership balk at or don't understand the value of trying something new is that we too often focus them in on the wrong things. We act like the goal is to have a great web presence, or to have an active community on Facebook, or to build a huge email list, etc. Those aren't the goals. Those are necessary ways to get there these days. But those aren't the end goals themselves.

Our goals are things like — to bring more people to the sacraments (Jesus), minister to those in need, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, instruct the ignorant, comfort the sorrowful, work for justice and to pray for all. They are the same old goals we've had for thousands of years.

If you can show your church leadership how a particular technology helps you accomplish those things safely and more effectively? Then you'll have their interest. And eventually, you'll have their enthusiastic support, too.