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Technology as a Means for Communication

In what ways does your religious community use technology? Mark Chaves’ book, American Religion: Contemporary Trends (2011) outlines the growth in the use of technology in congregations from 1998 to 2006.

In 1998, 17% of congregations had websites. By 2006, that number had grown to 44%. More importantly, nearly ¾ of people who attended church in 2006 attended a church with a website.

In 1998, 21% of congregations used email to communicate with their congregants. By 2006, 59% of congregations used email to communicate. 79% of people who attended a congregation attended one who used email to communicate.

What do these numbers tell us? There is a growing percentage of churches that use websites and email to communicate information to those around them. More importantly, however, is that most people attend congregations that have these resources. Having an up-to-date website, community calendar, and email system allows important information to be shared quickly and effectively with those who are online. While your community may have members who are not as active on the internet, thinking about the ways in which having an online presence communicates to younger generations is an important consideration.

Ellen Childs
About the Author
Dr. Ellen Childs holds a Ph.D. in sociology from University of Notre Dame. She is Website Director at StudyingCongregations.org