by John Hawkins | January 13, 2009 6:47 am
Over the last few years, I’ve criticized the Republican Party many times for failing to use new technology. However, there’s an even more important institution that has the same problem: that’s the Christian church.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just this area, but when I go to church, I see a crowd that is much older than it should be on the whole. Why is that? I think in part, it’s because too many churches have failed to use the technology at their disposal to reach out to young people.
Example #1: In my immediate area, as far as I can tell, there isn’t a single church that buys Google Ads. Granted, there are some in the surrounding areas, but if you want to reach out to younger, more net savvy people, Google Ads that pop up when people in your zip code search for “Christian” or “Baptist,” for example, is a pretty good way to do it.
Example #2: Again, in my immediate area, I have yet to find a single church that has a well put together web page. That may seem like a minor thing, but there are a lot of people who make a snap judgment about businesses and politicians based on the quality of their websites. Don’t think that they don’t do the same thing when it comes to churches.
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Example #3: On my new website, Right Wing Video, I’d like to post a few short Christian videos on the site, as a change of pace, but there just aren’t that many that I’m finding out there.
That’s a foolish wasted opportunity for churches. Look at it like this: let’s say you’re a talented pastor in a small church. You have 50-100 people who come to hear your fantastic sermons each week. Sure, the church is growing, but not as fast as you’d like. Well, you can video the best 2-3 minutes of each sermon, put it in a YouTube channel, encourage your flock to send it to their friends, and next thing you know, you’re reaching another 2-3k people a week all over the country.
That’s important locally, because it can be used as a recruiting tool for your church. On a larger scale, it matters because the average person on YouTube is much more in need of hearing a Christian message than the average church goer and many net junkies may not go to church at all. So, there’s yet another fantastic way for churches to reach out to young people.
The most immoral people in our society are influencing young people on the net, so why shouldn’t Christians compete for the attention of those same kids? By choosing not to try, Christians are in fact, choosing to abandon our children to the worst elements of our society. That’s a huge mistake that will, unless it’s rectified, have terrible consequences for the Christian church and for America down the line.
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