Churches evolve; more going high tech with the times

In today's society, if you're not on Facebook, Twitter, a blog or some king of mobile app -- you might get left behind. That's why you might have noticed a growing trend of "high tech" churches.

A few in the Amarillo area might include Hillside Church, Trinity Fellowship or Paramount Baptist. Pronews 7 sat down with the Executive Paster, Family Paster and even Marketing Consultant for Paramount to find out just how important it is for churches to evolve with technology.

"Today folks are inundated with technology and production on a level of American Idol and that's what they've come to expect," said Paramount Baptist Executive Pastor, Dave Anderson. "It'd be a shame if the Church can't keep speed with that, keep up to step with that."

Paramount has an active website -- the standard -- according to the church's consultant.

"Not only do we have a website, which is expected," said Marketing and Communication Consultant Jason Boyett. "Almost every church has a website now."

Paramount also has an active Facebook, Twitter, several blogs and very soon with have a mobile app available on both the iPhone and Androids.

"Technology has become our primary means of communication," said Family Pastor Aaron Groff. "A lot of young adults don't read the program that you pass out."

"A lot of folks go the the Facebook page instead of any other form to find out information about what's going on at Paramount," added Anderson.

Because most people are so comfortable with the internet, social media sites and other forms of technology, it's also become one of the easiest ways for churches to interact with the community without making anyone feel uncomfortable.

"To bring a church feed into Twitter or into Facebook is much less 'in your face' than knocking on somebody's door or handing them a flyer," said Boyett. "It feels a lot more organic and natural and people are more receptive to that."

Both Anderson and Groff said it's vital to stay up to date with technology and social media because that's the way people communicate in today's society.

"If we're going to stay culturally relevant, we've got to stay up to speed with technology," said Anderson.

"It's not that we're throwing away all the old things that we used to do, it's that we're adopting new tools to continue to be effective and minister and facilitate information," added Groff.

As times change (and churches change with them), some might feel concern that technology in the church draws away from the core value and principles they've taught from the start. Anderson agreed, that can happen, which is why he said it's important to remember the real message and that the technology is just another medium used to communicate it.

"The glitz and the glam of technology can separate itself from the Scripture which is what we're trying to get across," said Anderson. "The Scripture is something that is tested time and time again to be relevant and you don't have to glitz it up."