In the world of Hollywood, it was 30 years ago that Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer took the flying DeLorean to Oct. 21, 2015. As you’d expect, fans of Back to the Future are kind of interested in that and going to see screenings of the film as well as demanding that hoverboard technology finally catch up, already. Cubs fans are still hopeful for a World Series win, though that was put in serious jeopardy after falling behind 3-0 to the Mets last night.
The majority of discussions today about BTTF will revolve around the technology revealed in the franchise that, presumably, would be commonplace today. There are hits and misses, but to take it a step further how have those advances impacted ministry in the last 30 years?
Drones. They haven’t been developed to walk dogs like in the movie, so maybe that’s a specific ministry yet to be realized. However, drones have been used to give aerial footage of churches for websites or even just happen to be on the flight path of an individual drone pilot, as Kiokee Baptist in Appling was in this footage.
Tablets. The growth of using digitized Scripture is undeniable and today is forcing churches to consider areas such as wifi strength. That said, a State of the Bible Report by the Barna Group and American Bible Society earlier this year said 93% of Bible readers read from a print version, an actual increase from 2014 (89%). However, half of all respondents said they used a computer or the Internet to access the Bible, 40% used their smartphone to do so, and 35% downloaded or used a Bible app.
Mobile payment. Many still prefer to place their envelope or check directly in the offering plate each Sunday. The convenience of paying through your smartphone is gaining traction, though. Not sure if any churches are using Apple Pay just yet. Certainly none have thumb scanning as a tithing option, as some figure that possibilty could be decades away.
Video phones. Skype and FaceTime have made it possible for mission groups to stay in touch while on the field, and churches to connect more personally with missionaries and ministries they support. With the increase of Periscope and other live video feeds, those possibilities for ministry usage are only growing.