What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

Churches move to the cloud

Dan Weissmann Jan 11, 2016
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Churches move to the cloud

Dan Weissmann Jan 11, 2016
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Business isn’t the only thing that’s moving beyond bricks and mortar. Increasingly, churches are doing their business in the cloud — not the heavens, but the digital realm. 

For example, at Granger Community Church, a congregation of about 5,000 people in northwest Indiana, online sermons get about 17,000 views a month, according to Jami Ruth, the church’s communications director. One video has more than 6 million views, although it’s not a sermon.

Frozen’s Let It Go — A Mom Parody from Granger Community Church on Vimeo.

The church’s communications director, Jami Ruth, says social media has become an increasingly important, and easy, way for members to introduce their friends to the church.

“It’s really hard to knock on your neighbor’s door and say, ‘Hey, come to church with me on Saturday,'” she said. “But it’s easy to hit ‘share.'”

The collection plate has also gone digital, with options that include smartphone apps and texting-to-give.

Most churches are still playing catch-up when it comes to online donations, according to Scott Thumma, a professor at Hartford Seminary. “Just 31 percent are doing online giving,” he said. “That’s, like, staggeringly low.”

Brian Kluth, a consultant who works with churches on how to maximize donations, says that newer simpler-to-use tech products may help smaller churches catch up to bigger players like Granger.

Meanwhile, Kluth says, small congregations have some DIY tech tricks. “They’re literally doing karaoke worship,” he said, “putting up YouTube videos of ‘How Great Thou Art,’ and their people are singing along to the screen.”

He’s done this himself. “To be honest, that’s more preferred, sometimes, than someone who can barely play their guitar — and doesn’t know how to sing — trying to lead a group of people.” 

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.