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Technology or Tradition

by Hilda Spann

When I was a child, the Second Vatican Council was held in 1964, and for the first time allowed the Roman Catholic mass in my hometown to be said in English. I saw quite a clash between the older generation who felt the Latin mass was part of the mystique of the church experience while the younger generation wanted the meaning of the mass to be accessible.

When I first started serving churches in 1980, I could see that many mainstream churches were losing membership. There was so much in society to compete with Sunday morning church attendance not the least of it was being able to watch exciting worship services on tv.

I had a passionate interest in church growth. I felt the church and Jesus Christ had something very precious to offer people. First, however, you had to reach those people. I was fortunate in that the first church to hire me felt it was dying and wanted to grow. They said they would do everything possible to support my leadership to help their church grow.

The first thing we changed was the music. Fortunately we had a versatile and talented organist who was delighted to play the electric piano and invite other instrumentalists in including electric guitarists.

I am going to stop here because this story is not about me but about how churches need to make themselves accessible to contemporary culture in order to grow and prosper. Recently I paid all my bills online. I even paid the water bill I could have paid by running a mile up the street with a check. But online banking is how I keep a clear record and budget now. Many if not most people do online banking.

Continue to Give is giving churches the opportunity to update the way they fundraise and accept tithes and offerings. Continue to Give is giving churches a way to handle donations that is congruent with what most people do: online banking and using credit/debit cards instead of cash or checks.

The point I am trying to make is the church can only benefit by being accessible. If it is inconvenient to give then the church will have less donations. Say Betty Rouel came to church without her check book but does have her debit card. If she would like to use that card to bring her tithe up to date, shouldn't she be able to? Personally, I find it annoying when a business doesn't provide me with a way to pay electronically or their bookkeeping is sloppy when I pay electronically. It should be easy and joyful for people to give to their churches. In order for that to happen, your church needs a Continue to Give program for tithing made easy.

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Posted on: 04/08/2015
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