by Pathwright

What's Next? 4 Thoughts on the Future of Church + Technology

How to stay ahead of the curve

Written by

Paul Johnson

on February 8, 2018

At Pathwright, we imagine and debate how the church could use technology for learning just about every day. Last September, we decided to ask a group of our ministry partners and customers to join in the conversation during a live event.

Here are the top four takeaways from the discussion . . .

1. We need to teach tech to our churches more than we need tech to teach.

Say that 5 times fast. The future depends more on finding and teaching healthy ways to use technology to learn and teach than it does on the technology itself. In fact, most problems in church education won’t be solved with technology.

👟 Mission : Let’s teach our church members how to think about and use the great tech and digital content available to them.

2. With the information explosion, we need paths more than ever.

On one hand, it’s great that technology gives us immediate access to millions of resources. On the other hand, our biggest problem now is that technology gives us immediate access to millions of resources.

There may be more discipleship resources than ever, but that doesn’t mean discipleship has gotten easier. We need easy, intuitive ways to cut paths through this wealth of content. There’s no way to know what we should learn next, what we’ve already learned, or where we are in the learning journey.

👟 Mission : We should cultivate clear, actionable paths through existing content, not just create more and more content.

3. Technology should enhance, not replace, in-person discipleship

Tech enables us to hear directly from renowned, trustworthy ministry teachers and leaders in an instant. That creates an opportunity we can’t miss—local churches matter more than ever. With some of the burden of constantly developing fresh content lifted, teachers on the ground can now focus even more on helping people next door learn better. Churches can adapt the best curriculum to suit the need of their communities.

👟 Mission : Let’s keep making it easier for local churches to personalize quality content for their members.

4. Fear shouldn’t paralyze us and optimism shouldn’t blind us.

If we fear technology, we miss a big opportunity. At the same time, viewing technology as a panacea for all our problems blinds us to the more people-oriented changes that must be made. We need to find middle ground. If we’re ruthlessly honest about the pitfalls and possibilities, we can map a better way forward.

👟 Mission : We need to develop a robust philosophy of church technology in which tech blends with great teaching principles.

In some ways, it seems like this most recent tech revolution snuck up on us. Almost overnight, it seemed like everyone and their great uncle had a smartphone and a Facebook profile (and all of the thrills and pains to go along with it).

But the next revolution in church and technology doesn’t have to be a surprise. Actually, it shouldn’t be one. It should be carefully planned and pursued. Let’s make that happen.

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