Is the Church wedded to technology?

TORONTO, ON—Less than two per cent of Ontario churches avoid using technology, says a new survey by Tyndale University College and Seminary.

"There's been a wholesale welcoming of technology in the church," says Rob Patterson, Tyndale's director of church and alumni relations. "It's married to who we are as the Church, whether it be Gutenberg and the printing press or Moses using tablets."

Technology isn't just wedded to the church, notes Patterson, it's wedded to society. Speaking to Tyndale's board of directors recently, he said in the same month Tyndale began (in 1894) a technological revolution took place: George Eastman of Rochester, N.Y. (across Lake Ontario from Toronto) created the Brownie, a camera—and technology—for the masses.

The survey, published in the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 issue of Tyndale: the magazine, reports 98.1 per cent of churches don't avoid technology; 10 per cent felt technology distracted people from worship; and 74 per cent of church members use a smart phone Bible application.

The survey was "born out of response to questions by a number of church leaders," says Patterson. Sent to churches on Tyndale's database—most of which are in Ontario—the 368 responses reflected how churches in Ontario felt about technology.

In a media release, Tracey Mori, Tyndale's marketing and communications manager who designed the survey, says she hopes churches in Ontario can "benefit from learning the innovative ways other churches are using technology, and be aware of some of the drawbacks and dangers."

For more information visit www.tyndale.ca/news/canadian-research-church-and-technology.

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