ADVERTISING
 
Friday, November 16   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Barna Group report
 

Pastors and the Internet

Survey shows how pastors relate to internet in the USA. 96% are frequent users and 87% are ready to provide spiritual counseling online. 

SOURCES Barna Group AUTHOR Evangelical Focus UNITED STATES 24 FEBRUARY 2015 18:05 h GMT+1
cyberchurch Front page of the newest Barna Group study. / Barna Group

The use of Internet has become an essential tool to understand the way people live their lives, do their work and engage in their relationships. Pastors are no exception.



In the past 15 years, the use of the Internet among church leaders has significantly increased, and most of them have come to accept, not only that it can be a very useful tool for their ministry, but also that it is "theologically acceptable" to seek "faith assistance" or "religious experiences" online.



Barna Group has carried out a nationwide study in the United States, examining how Protestant senior pastors use the internet today, compared to 15 years ago, when the first study was made.



The recent survey was conducted November 14 through December 3, 2014 and included 601 interviews with Protestant senior pastors, while the first survey was conducted from December 7 to December 28, 2000 and included 610 Protestant senior pastors.



 



PASTORS’ USE OF INTERNET



Although in 2000, a high percentage of pastors said they used a computer at church (83%), today even more pastors do (96%).



The primary reason why a pastor uses a computer (word processing or writing), has stayed essentially the same, but the use for accessing the Internet and for email, has increased dramatically:




  • Word processing or writing: 59% today and 51% in 2014

  • Accessing the Internet: 39% today compared to only 24% in 2000

  • E-mail: 46% compared to 24%



Besides, more church leaders today are using  their computers to access to digital communication tools that help them to improve their work




  • Study helps or research, 56% compared to 29%

  • Creating slides/presentations, 44% compared to 10%.



Pastors are also now using the Internet for many other activities that they only marginally participated in 15 years ago. You can see them in the graphic below:



 



Figure 1. / Barna Group.



 



ONLINE EXPERIENCES



In 2000, only 78 percent of pastors believed online religious experiences were theologically acceptable. Now, nine in 10 pastors think it is theologically acceptable for a church to provide faith assistance to people through the Internet (87%).



They are more than willing to acknowledge that the Internet is playing a key role in how people engage with religion, yet they remain sceptical about those online interactions representing the entirety of a person’s faith activities.



 



Figure 2. / Barna Group



 



THE INTERNET AS A MINISTRY TOOL



More than half of pastors see the Internet as a powerful tool for effective ministry (54%, up from 35% in 2000). A similar percentage believes that if a church wants to be effective in the future, it will need to have a significant presence on the Internet (55%).



Although these percentages have grown, there are still many pastors who do not agree with these statements. Most of this resistance comes from older pastors. Younger pastors are more likely to agree with these positive statements than are older pastors.



The financial situation of each church determines the way Pastors see the Internet as a ministry tool:




  • Those who make $60,000 or more a year are more likely to see the Internet as a powerful ministry tool (63%) than are those who make less than $40,000 (49%).

  •  When asked whether developing a significant presence on the Internet is a good investment: 69% of pastors making $60,000 or more a year say yes, while only 44% of those making $40,000 to $60,000 and even fewer (40%) of those making under $40,000 a year agree



The number of pastors who consider that the Internet is bad for small churches, or a distraction from doing significant ministry, has decreased in the last 15 years, but more pastors than before believe that it can be used to spread spiritual heresy and to distort Christianity (see graphic below).



 



Figure 3. / Barna Group.



 



CONCLUSIONS



“While 15 years ago, having a church website or using the Internet as a ministry tool may have seemed like a luxury, for most churches today it has become a necessity”, said Roxanne Stone, a vice president at Barna Group. “No matter the church’s size, location or demographic, the Internet has become and will continue to be a vital tool for connection, outreach and even spiritual formation,” concluded Stone.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Pastors and the Internet
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.