United Methodist pastors and church leaders match or exceed the average U.S. technology adoption rates, according to new research from United Methodist Communications.
“The purpose of the United Methodist Emerging Technology Survey was to assess penetration of new types of digital communication within the church to aid agency communications and messaging,” said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. Krause said the study also helps the agency determine interest in training on these new technological opportunities.
Since 2009, United Methodist Communications has conducted a study among pastors and leaders on attitudes and usage of emerging forms of digital communications.
Pastors and leaders match or exceed U.S. adoption rates on 8 of the 15 emerging technology categories tested, including viewing videos on YouTube or a similar site, accessing the Internet on their mobile phones, using mobile apps, accessing podcasts, using LinkedIn, uploading videos to YouTube, using Pinterest and using Twitter.
Compared to Pew Research’s 2015 national average of 68 percent, 91 percent of pastors and 79 percent of leaders have smartphones; 66 percent of pastors use those mobile phones to take most of their photos and videos and 57 percent say they actually feel lost without their cell phones.
Digital media associated with mobile phones, such as texting and the use of apps and Internet via cell phones, continues to increase. Similarly, pastors report a high usage and little growth for Facebook and YouTube. However, Twitter growth has stalled at a relatively low level. Pinterest and Instagram continue to experience growth.
Key findings from the survey include:
In 2015, the study was conducted in September and October among a sample of 875 pastors and leaders. More details are available via an infographic.