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Boomers or Bust: Using Tech to Minister to Baby Boomers at Church

When you think about tech in the church, it’s easy to think it only appeals and ministers to Millennials—but that’s not the case. Baby Boomers at church (the generation born between 1946 and 1964) are becoming more and more comfortable with technology.

Consider these stats from the Pew Research Center:

  • 66% of young Boomers (51–59) and 60% of older Boomers (60–69) have broadband internet at home.
  • 59% of young Boomers and 46% of older Boomers use a smartphone.
  • 54% of young Boomers and 45% of older Boomers are on social media.
  • 52% of young Boomers and 46% of older Boomers are on Facebook.

If you think about it, Baby Boomers are the ideal generation to minister to with technology. As they retire, discover more free time, and begin traveling, tech can be a way to keep them engaged. In fact, technology can enable them to become your church’s biggest promoters!

Adjusting Your Adoption Strategy

The problem that churches run into is that they have only one strategy for rolling out technology: They share a new tech tool and encourage everyone to start using it.

Millennials are digital natives, so they’re the ones that can be trusted to adopt new technology the fastest. They’re not intimidated by a new app or program, figuring it out as they go. Baby Boomers don’t tend to jump in like that.

A 2009 AARP article shared that Boomers tend to adopt technology as younger generations—typically family members—explain to them how to use it. Once they catch on, however, they become enthusiastic evangelists to other Boomers, embracing a kind of tech peer pressure to their community.

The takeaway for churches is that it’s not enough to simply roll out a new tech solution. They need to invest some time walking Boomers through its functionality. Once Boomers become comfortable with it, they’ll become your biggest allies and more likely to commit to using it long term.

Keeping Baby Boomers at Church in Mind

Because churches tend to associate technology with Millennials, they unwittingly exclude Boomers. It’s important to ensure that when Boomers download your app or visit your social media channels, they’re not seeing content that only speaks to Millennials. If you want Baby Boomers at church to invest in using your technology, they need to feel that it addresses their interests. They need to see images of people their age and discussions of topics that address their concerns and needs.

This means that a church’s social media person needs to be inclusive in their posts. Trying to be too hip and culturally relevant can actually backfire. Filling up your Facebook page with a bunch of Christian takes on the latest viral meme could actually convince Boomers that your tech isn’t for them.

Finding Ways to Bring Boomers on Board

It will help to blur the line between your “normal” church ministry and your online or tech ministry. The more they weave in and out of each other, the more likely Boomers are to get involved with the high-tech aspects goals of the church.

So find creative ways to bring these worlds together. Do Facebook polls and use the results in your sermon, or share lyric videos of new worship songs on your blog. If tech is a non-negotiable part of your church’s ministry, Boomers will be willing to use it.

This becomes incredibly important if you’re using a tool like Pushpay’s Total Engagement Package. This is an app that not only helps keep the church engaged, but it’s also powered with Pushpay to make giving faster and easier. If you want to get your church acclimated to mobile giving, it’s imperative that you get Boomers on board—as they’re often the ones best poised to be generous.

Getting Baby Boomers at church to buy into your technology goals isn’t difficult. You just need to be strategic and intentional about the way you do it.

Unintentionally excluding older generations as you roll out new tech is a surefire way to alienate people who have been attending your church for years. If new tech isn’t introduced well, Baby Boomers may even feel that your church is changing at a pace they just can’t keep up with and you may lose some of your most faithful congregants. This is just one thing you need to watch out for because it can hurt the growth of your ministry.

To discover the other common pitfalls churches often make and how to avoid them, download the free ebook, 5 Bad Habits That Kill Church Growth (And How To Break Them), today.