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We live in a gadget driven society. From children to adults, every one of us wants the latest toy. But, as we all know, sometimes those toys can be quite useful in everyday life and in the workplace. Although churches may not be able to afford all of the latest technologies, they should still find ways of getting some to make the church more effective while using less manpower. In the end, some technologies may even save the church money! It’s important to be a good steward, of course, but that shouldn’t deter churches from purchasing certain technology. To be a good steward, the church needs wisdom in researching things that they can use. Here are 5 gadgets your church should be using.

1. Sound System

Your church should research different sound systems and ways of making the quality of the services and worship better. The church is centered on teaching the Bible, which often includes opening and closing in worship music. Without a good sound system, it’s hard for the congregation to hear very well. If there is no microphone, the Pastor will sound strained and often find himself drained after a message. If there is a microphone but it’s not a good quality, then he may sound muffled, which will make the message unintelligible to some.

2. Video monitor(s)

Today, sermons are often made more effective through visual media. This can include videos, pictures, and even infographics. This will not only change the way the Pastor researches for his sermons, but it will allow the congregation to become more involved in the sermon. Videos and images are often tools that can be “recycled” in the social media world. So, after a Pastor gives a message and uses the media, it can then be posted on the church Facebook page, which in turn lets the members share it around. Additionally, the video monitors give the church the ability to put the Scripture references, any upcoming dates to remember, and contact information right on the screen for all to see.

3. Credit Card Processors

If your church has a bookstore/merchandise (like cd’s, media, etc.)that it sells, it’s a great idea to have the technology that allows for credit card transactions. If not, it’s possible that potential buyers will be hindered from making desired purchases. Most people seem to only carry plastic these days, so it will be very useful to have.

4. Online Tithing Capabilities

This might require some research as to what company or software is best, but the point is to have an online payment option for those that want to tithe. The church I attend has this and it’s amazingly easy and effective to use. Every time that I want to tithe, I can do so from the comfort of my own home; I can pay through my debit card, credit card, or even my bank account. Plus, it has the added bonus of storing all of my info and scheduling a recurring tithe for each month, week, or whenever I want it to! This means that I will never worry about forgetting and I will never have to write a check or give cash—everything is right online!

5. Projector(s)

A projector is a great gadget to have. Depending on the type of video monitors you have, you may already be using one or more. However, it’s a good idea to have at least one (depending on the size of your church) that can act as a floater. In other words, this projector will be able to travel to any type of retreat, events, or for the use of various ministries. It can be used during messages, seminars, and very useful for putting the lyrics to worship songs up on a screen (or wall depending on where you are). While it may not always be viewed as the fanciest of gadgets, it can be incredibly useful to any church. Larger churches with a bigger budget may be able to afford the top of the line type of projectors. But, if you’re a part of a smaller church, cheaper options are certainly available.

Conclusion

Gadgets are great and it’s time that the church starts staying current with them. It’s been said that the Word of God never changes, but that the delivery style does. In years past, churches relied on printed materials and loud preaching to teach messages and disseminate information. Today, however, the church is entering an age where things are all digital and various media is capable of attracting a lot of attention. The Word of God must remain primary for every church—but that doesn’t mean some cool gadgets can’t support the mission.

5 Responses

  1. Kevin Kuhns

    When you tithe online, even using automatic payments, what percentage of your gift does the church actually get to keep? Or, what percentage does the intermediary credit card processor (or PayPal) keep out of the gift? And when the church provides you with a giving statement at the end of the year, do they reflect the total amount you gave, or the amount they received after the transaction fees? Are there articles about the guidelines around this? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Pamela Rose Williams

      Hi Kevin, I saw this comment come in and thought I would respond. In our church and counseling ministry we use credit cards to process donations. It is my practice to provide a receipt for the full donation amount. The percentage varies based upon how you process it (card swipe versus manual entry) and who you use as your processing partner. Usually you are looking at between 1 to 5% credit card fees. I book that fee as a “credit card fee expense” and book the remainder as a donation. Are there articles about the guidelines? I am sure there are but I will see what we can do to summarize that for you in an upcoming article at CMM.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

      Pamela Rose Williams, Editor

      Reply
      • Michael Krauszer
        Michael Krauszer

        Thanks for the comment, Kevin. I do know that, for my church, we are charged a fee. However, when we send out giving statements we include the entire amount that was given.

  2. Tom Bartzsch

    The use of credit cards for donations is a touchy thing. We are looking at adding online/kiosk giving methodologies, but we’re planning to encourage people to only use debit card or direct debit from checking. You can’t “force” someone not to use a credit card, since both the debit and credit can be run like credit, but there are so many people in debt, not paying off their CC’s at the end of the month – we don’t want donations putting people further in debt.

    Reply
    • Michael Krauszer
      Michael Krauszer

      Great point, Tom! At the church I attend, we do allow credit card donations. However, on the page where we allow it, we also put an encouraging note/reminder that debt is not a good thing!

      Reply

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