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New study: Small churches wary of online giving

by Tola Mbakwe

The survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors in the United Stated revealed that 39 per cent of small churches (100 to 249 attendees) offer online giving. That's in comparison to 74 per cent of big churches (250 attendees or more).

Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, said the figures were surprising because more than half of Americans pay their bills online.

"Technology is great, but smaller churches still like to pass the plate," he added.

The survey also revealed how churches use social media.

It found that 84 percent of the 1,000 churches had a Facebook page, that number was less than half in 2010. However, most have steered clear of using Twitter. Only 16 per cent have an account.

The most common reasons for church social media use are to inform people about upcoming events and to interact with the congregation.

The poll also showed that churches have become more comfortable with attendees using their phones during services. Seven in ten churches provide free Wi-Fi for guests.
McConnell said: "Not long ago churches' use of technology was often limited to a website that functioned like the Yellow Pages or a bulletin board.

"Now they see technology as a way to interact with people. Wi-Fi is just one more way to do that."

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