Churches Going High Tech | VideoAmy Fox | 3/12/2013
"A few short years ago, people would come to church with stack of notebooks and Bibles and references and stuff,” said First Presbyterian Church Director of Youth and Kids Minister Steve Oster.
Instead of reaching for a traditional Bible, people of all ages are now starting to reach for their cell phones and iPads to follow along with the sermon and the scriptures.
Oster said, "it’s more common to see someone carrying a tablet with all their books and maps and Bibles right on there and it gives them a wealth of resources at their finger tips."
"I don`t print my sermons out anymore,” said Our Savior Lutheran Church Associate Pastor Dan Voth. “They are on my iPad."
With technology rapidly growing, some churches are taking the digital approach.
"Probably in the last eight months to one year, we’ve been seeing more of it happening, and we`ve been kind of changing some of even our language to encourage it more for people to grab their Bibles, or grab a tablet or smartphone rather than grabbing a paper copy," said Voth.
When it comes to using these high tech gadgets, Oster says there needs to be a balance.
"It`s definitely the direction most churches will end up going. I think it`s a trend that`s going to be around forever at this point. Hopefully we`re using them for a way to enhance our worship experience and not to detour from it."
To help the people stay connected and up-to-date, churches, like Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot, are beginning to create apps for their followers.
"Instead of having to look at a paper bulletin, you can literally just go to that app,” said Voth. “There`s all that info and even to the point where the bulletin itself simply has a QR code that you quickly scan."
"I think, you know, when it comes to presenting the gospel message, the message always stays the same. But, how you communicate the message is always going to change," said Oster.
While Our Savior Lutheran Church has hired someone to create the smartphone app, they are only in the beginning stages. Voth hopes to launch the app sometime this summer.