Even churches are adopting new technology, including social networking, in a bid to attract and retain parishioners.
Churches Embrace the Web In Bid to Attract Members
— reported by the Wall Street Journal
Looking to attract more young people to his church, the Rev. Patrick Gray turned to an unlikely marketing tool: MySpace, a social-networking Web site that draws millions of teens and young adults every day.
Father Gray, a 35-year-old Episcopal priest at Boston’s Church of the Advent, was sold on MySpace by a congregant whose rock band had used the site to attract listeners. While most MySpace users create pages to promote themselves or a band, he posted a profile for his parish. It includes reminders for Sunday services, audio files of its choir and announcements for “Theology on Tap” gatherings at a local bar.
In a bid to attract new members and shed their persistently Luddite image, churches across the country are embracing technology and Web sites like MySpace. Blogs and podcasts have become part of religious leaders’ communications with congregants, and photo-sharing sites like Flickr are increasingly used to depict a fun-loving, casually-dressed community of churchgoers.
Churches with an evangelical bent often lead the way when it comes to harnessing technology, though some traditional congregations are also experimenting — even the Vatican has podcasts.