As I mentioned before, in this post, I had the opportunity recently to teach a tremendous group of local church leaders. The gathering was the first ever Elevation Summit hosted at Abundant Faith Fellowship. Pastors and leaders were gathered together from at least 5 different churches.
The second benefit, that I see, in embracing and utilizing technology in ministry is Identification.
I recall visiting Israel in 1990, right before the Gulf War, and realizing there were very few Americans anywhere we visited. The threat of war evidently kept some people away...
One evening, in our hotel in Jerusalem, as we were going to dinner we encountered some English-speaking friends - they were from Canada. Other than the broken English of many of the street vendors, tour guides and service industry personnel, we simply didn't engage in much conversational English with our Israeli friends. The exception was our friends from Canada. We were immediately able to identify with them, engage them and build relationship.
The same principle applies today...when I travel to churches to speak or train (sometimes to evaluate), I begin immediately to try to find areas of commonality. Another phrase for commonality is "common ground" - by searching for common ground, I'm able to begin conversation, overcome awkwardness associated with meeting a stranger and begin to build report. In other words, I'm able to identify...me with them...them with me.
Embracing current forms of technology (social media, web tools such as online giving, atmosphere creating tools such as lighting or projection) creates points of identity because people are used to them. Business people and students are used to projection...more and more people are opting for online bill payment...the news is being shaped increasingly by Twitter.