Associate Pastors & Technology

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recently released its first systematic look at associate pastors in an 88 page report “Associate Pastors in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).”  The comprehensive report is based on a 2011 survey of associate pastors and a 2008 & 2009 survey of key leaders.

The survey found associate pastors spent an average of 11 hours a week “emailing, text messaging, or using the Internet” in their personal lives.  Professionally, these pastors used differing technologies during the past year at varying rates (p.18):

 So What?

The variety of options provided in this survey is rather limited, however proves adequate for a basic understanding of how associate pastors in this tradition are using technology in their positions.  I am shocked to learn that only 4 of 5 male associates (80%) and less than 9 in 10 female associates (87%) communicated with a parishioner at least once during the past year by e-mail.  Given those percentages the dramatic declines for additional online activities are not surprising.

  • How do your congregation’s clergy and key staff leaders use technology to communicate with the congregation?
  • What training and professional development opportunities did the congregation and/or denomination provide for these individuals during the past year?


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