At Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, five Sunday services are held at two morning worship hours (9:20 and 10:45 a.m.) with just one speaker. How is it possible?
“Through the use of technology,” said Tracey Drake, a ministry assistant.
The pastor, the Rev. David McKinley, speaks live from the sanctuary, while video of his sermon is simulcast to other locations across their Washington Road campus.
It’s just one of the ways the church has embraced technology in ministry. In the year ahead, area pastors are not only expanding video capabilities like that Warren by recording, broadcasting and linking to their messages online. They’ll also be integrating QR codes, interactive listening guides, smart phone apps and iPads into worship, ministry and church life.
Churches like The Well in downtown Augusta operate their own social network for members. The pastor of Stevens Creek, a Church of God congregation in Augusta, has developed the first church giving app for smart phones, and says he expects many more churches – in Augusta and across the country – to embrace it in the New Year.
Renovation at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church included high-tech upgrades to an otherwise traditional sanctuary in 2011. Stained glass windows back-lit by LEDs and flatscreen computers embedded in the pulpit were just part of the multimillion-dollar upgrade.
The adoption of new technology in church is sometimes controversial, but the aim is to better communicate with the growing number of computer, smart phone and iPad users.
“We are ever advancing to provide access to the messages and ministries for mobile users wherever they are,” Drake said.