There have been extraordinary technological advances in the ways that people communicate with each other. Are there some churches that are more likely to embrace these trends and use new electronic methods to communicate with attenders?
In the 2006 National Church Life Survey churches were asked about their email and internet use. Some 56 per cent of Australian churches that took part in the 2006 NCLS said that they use electronic mail (e-mail) or the internet to communicate with attenders. A sample of churches was used for a study of those churches which take advantage of this technology.
In the general community, younger people tend to adopt technology more quickly than older people. This is also true in churches: those with younger age profiles were more likely to use email. As the average age of congregation attenders increases, so there is an increase in the likelihood that congregations use email and the internet.
In general, those with higher levels of education are more likely to use technology. Again, this pattern was found within the churches. The education levels of attenders made a significant difference. The higher the proportion of attenders with bachelor’s degrees in a congregation, the more likely the congregation will use email and the internet.
Suburban churches were most likely to use technology, followed by urban areas and lastly, rural congregations. However, the actual age of the congregation (years since it was formed) and the age of the building had very little effect on email usage.
In conclusion, because e-mail usage is linked mostly to the age and education of attenders, any congregation can adapt to the new technological if its attenders wish to use it.
For more information see: Pointers, Volume 20, No. 1, Page 15