We are always looking at the ever-changing landscape of technology, and we see some great things on the horizon for Church, Tech and future iChurch Books. Click Here for Part 2
- The Cloud - The Cloud is the best and worst thing that has happened to the Internet. It allows any size company to have the platform, software, and presence of a Fortune 500 company, which is a great thing. Unfortunately, businesses and individuals give all of their information to these companies and put all of their trust and security into an online company that we may or may not know anything about. The Cloud gives organizations the ability to grow, collaborate, and communicate with tools that are a fraction of what they used to cost. The technology and financial barriers have come down, and when it comes to leveraging technology, any size company can compete on a global scale. One of the best examples of Cloud software that gives churches great opportunities to operate more effectively is Google Apps. Google gives non-profits software for free with its Google Grants program, and churches can have corporate-level email, office software, calendars, video conferencing, video streaming, and much more without spending a dime.
- Virtual Reality - Virtual Reality, sometimes referred to as “Immersive Multimedia,” is a computer-simulated environment that can replicate the “physical presence” of real or imagined worlds via a headset. Virtual reality can recreate sensory experiences, which include virtual taste, sight, smell, sound, and touch. Oculus Rift, which was purchased by Facebook, is leading the Virtual Reality innovative push. With the VR devices that I have been able to interact with, there are great opportunities to create immersive Biblical environments and tell some great stories. Whether it’s virtually re-creating a Bible story or creating a virtual church service and letting people “attend” services via their headsets, there are great opportunities for virtual reality in churches.
- Internet of Things - The world is going towards being always connected. Mobile will mean much more than our phones in the near future. As we move towards all devices being connected online, we have to rethink how we can take church to the masses. Right now, if we want to send daily devotionals to people, we use apps, push notifications, or daily emails. But, what if we were to send devotionals to our mirrors so that we saw our daily encouragement while we were brushing our teeth. What if we were to send devotionals to our connected refrigerators or to our connected cars. These new Internet-enabled devices will provide the church with numerous opportunities to rethink the way we take church to the people and take the limits off how we currently do ministry online.
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