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Photo Credit: Church of Scotland
Photo Credit: Church of Scotland
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World News

Two thirds of UK Christians say their church failed to embrace technology during the pandemic

by Kelly Valencia

Churchgoing Christians in the UK think the Church failed to adapt and embrace the use of technology during the pandemic. 

That's according to new research commissioned by Premier, which showed 63 per cent thought the Church found it difficult to adapt to technology. 

Over 2,000 Christians, who attended church at least once a month pre-pandemic were questioned by Savanta ComRes.

Speaking to Premier, Chris Bright, co-founder of Thinking Church, an organisation that helps churches to establish their ministry strategy, said there's a need to make content engaging for a digital audience. 

"Before the pandemic, if a service wasn't engaging, people would sort of check out in their mind and you could see people wandering in their mind, but you wouldn't leave the building. But online, anyone can leave at any time," Bright said. "I think the problem that we've had is that the Church, by and large, has taken what it always did, beforehand, take the church service, and just put it online. But the online space and the in-person spaces are really different. They're very, very different spheres."

Among those who were less forgiving of the Church's capability to adapt to technology were those aged between and 18 and 34. 

Bright argues that, in order to engage with the Millennial and Gen Z generations, the church needs to start creating content that is more "native to the medium" that they are on. 

"The church service traditionally has 30 minutes of music, and about a 30 minute preach, but that doesn't translate online very well. If you're doing an online service, that's not particularly engaging. 

"If you have a monologue in a YouTube video, they tend to be about five to ten minutes or a TED talk maybe goes up to maybe 15 minutes long maximum. So, I think churches need to look at shortening some of the preachers, but then you can have conversations, which lasts from 45 minutes to up to three hours," he added. 

Bright continued by saying he doesn't think the church needs to "shallow out" anything that it's doing but should instead take what they are already doing and think about it "from the mediums point of view."

He concluded: "I really [want to] encourage churches that this is where people are gathering. I think if churches can just go at it fresh, then there is a massive harvest that is available and just an encouragement for the churches just to give it another go. Keep going. Keep trying keep pressing on because it's definitely worth it."

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