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Survey: More Protestant churches going high tech

Religion News Service

Protestant churches are increasingly using technology in their sanctuaries and their offices, a new poll shows.

The Barna Group reports “serious double-digit growth” in the use of Web sites, large-screen projection systems and e-mail blasts by the nation’s Protestant churches.

The Ventura, Calif.-based researchers found that nearly six out of 10 Protestant churches have a Web site. That’s a sharp rise from 2000, when just one-third of Protestant churches had Web sites.

The survey showed 62 percent of churches are using large-screen projection systems to communicate. Five years ago, 39 percent of congregations used that technology.

The percentage of Protestant churches that use video content in their worship services has also increased. Now, 61 percent use video segments as part of worship, compared to 30 percent in 2000.

Researchers also found that the introduction of big screens to sanctuaries may be prompting the exit of physical biblical texts. The number of churches that provide so-called “pew Bibles” has decreased from 86 percent in 2000 to 80 percent today as big screens are used to show Bible verses during worship services.

George Barna, the leader of the Barna Group – which includes a division that offers a large selection of video clips to churches – said he anticipates more technological changes in the future.

“During the next half of the decade, we expect increased broadbrand access, podcasting, and ubiquitous adoption of handheld mobile computing devices by consumers to further alter the way churches conduct ministry,” he predicted.

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