According to Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life, the world’s population will increase by 2.4 billion people between 2010 and 2050. But projections show the population of Christians in the United States will decline from about three-quarters to two-thirds. And the number of Americans not affiliated with any religion are projected to grow from 16% of the population to 26% by 2050.

Comparison of U.S. Religion Trends as projected by Pew Research Center in "The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050"Your church’s message has to stand out and be heard. Churches have the most important message of all. As Pope Francis said, “Among the possibilities offered by digital communication, the most important is the proclamation of the Gospel.” About the internet and technology, the Holy Father went on to say, “It is essential to be present, always in an evangelical way, in what, for many, especially young people, has become a sort of living environment …”

Where are the 50-60 year olds of 2050? (They’re today’s 15-25 year olds)

Stats for teens: 75% have smartphones, 71% use more than 1 social media site, they send 30 texts per day on averageWho are you actually reaching right now? Have you checked? It’s common to hear a church say it wants to connect with ‘younger’ people and get them involved in ministry. But are you adopting solutions that reach the younger generations? Or are you set in your ways about how things get done at church and don’t feel a need to “fix what ain’t broken”? (Hint: if young adults and teens drop out of your programs, you may be channeling the 1990’s or, worse, the 1980’s.)

Perhaps it feels like your church is tech savvy because it has a website, a Facebook page, and you send out a weekly email of church activities. It’s a nice start, but 75% of teens have smartphones, use more than two social media sites, and send an average of 30 text messages a day. (Stats from Pew Research.)

Your Communications Plan has to be bigger than a website, Facebook, and email. You may feel too busy to work on communications, but the alternative is having lots of time on your hands in 2050.

It’s time for churches to get off the fence about Technology & Social Media

Today’s tech industry giants are focused on mobile platforms. Consider this recent statement by a Microsoft VP, “Our goal is to better help people manage and make the most of their time in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Volunteers of 2050 are 15-25 years old today. Churches have to learn to adopt technologies that help them interact with this group today.There are a lot of great solutions out there: mobile, cloud-based, and apps. Your first step should be to move your ministry scheduling to a cloud-based system, like Ministry Scheduler Pro.

Churches have a built-in audience with ministry volunteers who usually give the most time and are most willing to help. Cloud-based programs allow volunteers to access schedules via the web or using a smartphone app. The church eliminates paper schedules, paper recruitment forms, and a big percentage of the calls and emails to the church secretary about scheduling.

With your first successful 21st century solution in place, your ministry volunteers become your advocates, so you can beat the odds and grow your church community!