Virtual Connectivity

Writing for the Naples Florida Weekly, Ella Nayor explores how many congregations in Southwest Florida are using technology to connect people to one another and to the life of the faith community.  Clergy from multiple religions see value in leveraging technology for connectivity in a variety of use cases.  While some congregations have just a few dozen followers on Facebook, many have more robust offerings.   North Naples United Methodist Church's staff includes a cyber pastor (the Rev. Read More …

Is Technology Good for Religion?

In a recent Washington Post article Lisa Miller argues that technology is good for religion.  Building her argument primarily on the views of adherents rather than experts, she focuses on the value of apps to support rather than replace religious practices.  In short, she believes: Technology can greatly enhance religious practice. Groups that restrict and fear it participate in their own demise. So What? Religion involves connection with the divine and with other people following the same Read More …

Future Church – More Connected

Church v.2020 - Ten Changes: #4 More Connected – Less Geographically Dependent When compared with the American church of 2012, the future church (v.2020) will be more connected and less geographically dependent.  The increased abilities of technology along with increased utilization within the church will facilitate many changes, including: Most congregations will move from being identified primarily by a physical presence (e.g., church campus that includes one or more buildings) to a Read More …

The Church in 2020 – Major Changes Ahead

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the landscape of American Christianity since the 1950s.  Any time I make a presentation on the topic, people always ask about the future.  In order to more fully answer those questions I devised a list of changes I believe to be most likely.  The original list was created in 2006, before I entered the blogosphere. When I revised the list and turned it into a "top ten" in 2009, I published it on my blog.  In light of significant changes in Read More …

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 Read More …

Everyone is a Technologist

Tech entrepreneur Daniel Gulati suggests "technology skills will be crucial for future employment prospects" in his recent post on the Harvard Business Review's Blog Network.  Over the last fifteen years internet users have grown from 70 million to 2.2 billion, and the ability to use technology has become a necessary skill at all levels of employment.  To help everyone attain and retain proficiency as a technologist, Gulati provides five recommendations: Be an end user Know the Read More …

Top 11 Posts of 2011

Based on the number of unique hits, the following are my top 11 posts in 2011 Best Church Logos Contemporvant Worship: Too Close To Reality? Review of Not a Fan Preferred Frequency for Communion / Lord's Supper / Eucharist Managing the Social Network Map The Influence of Technology The Presbyterian (PCUSA) Church is Deathly Ill Review of The Jesuit Guide To (Almost) Everything The UCC, General Synod, and the Trinity The Acceptable Year of the Lord - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Read More …

A Survey About my Theological Studies

Yesterday I received an e-mail request to complete an Alumni Survey.  The survey, sent by the university from which I received my doctoral degree, is a standard instrument provided by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).  The survey included a significant number of questions related to the usefulness of coursework for my current position and my overall experience.   Since I now work full-time in higher education, I found many of the questions intriguing, especially those about theology Read More …

Internet Technologies for Discipleship

Kelly Walsh, Chief Information Officer at the College of Westchester and seasoned IT professional, recently updated his list of ten internet technologies about which educators should be informed.  Walsh's current list has changed dramatically, including only five items from his original list.  The new list, in order, follows: video and podcasting resources, digital presentation tools, collaboration and brainstorming tools, blogs and blogging, social networking tools, lecture capture, student Read More …

How Many Devices Does a College Student Need?

Educause, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, recently released their 2011 report on undergraduate students and technology.  The associated infographic provides a visual overview of the findings divided into the following categories: institutions, instructors, software and hardware.  Since yesterday was Black Friday and Cyber Monday is coming soon, I was drawn to the section on hardware. Percentage Read More …