The Role of Technology in the Catholic Church


They say old habits die hard, but the pace of technological innovations may be giving them a run for their money. Technology is completely revolutionizing the way we think, the way we live, and the way we work, with new advancements emerging nearly every day. Artificial Intelligence, for one, is taking the 21st century by storm with advancements like ChatGPT, which has the ability to create content from scratch and explain complex theories in seconds. Powered by a software known as GPT-3, it works from a collection of billions of words and phrases so it can form coherent and logical sentences. This new level of comprehension, coupled with the capacity to generate new content drawing on a rich vocabulary and nuanced understanding of language, dense theoretical material, and a wealth of examples is poised to revolutionize the way we learn, write, and communicate. Increasingly, every technological advancement seems to bring a world of possibilities we have yet to fully discover.

As exciting as it all sounds, it may also feel incredibly daunting and overwhelming to some: at the pace we’re going, how much will our lives change a decade from now? Two decades? Three? Technology is changing at a dizzying pace, and it can be uncomfortable to feel anxiety about the instability it can produce. As it turns out, this fear response is completely natural. As humans, we are wired to crave consistency and be resistant to change. We’re creatures of pattern and tend to lean toward comfort and simplicity. With the rise of new digital capabilities, many of us find ourselves with questions like “How does this work?” , “Can I do it?” or “How much time and effort is required to learn this?” and “is it all really worth it?” These questions might cause us to just give up and throw in the towel. Indeed, feeling overwhelmed coupled with general skepticism of the product, spells out the perfect recipe for complacency.

Perhaps even more daunting than the thought of change is the very real threat of getting left behind. Organizations rooted in tradition, such as the Catholic Church, are grappling with meeting their congregations where they are. 21st century church members are technologically savvy and expect to have information easily available to them on the internet. Members look for an expect websites to have operating hours, news information, ways to connect with other Church members and their communities, volunteer opportunities, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their donations are being used wisely. In a world that’s not only continuously evolving but gaining technological momentum, Catholic diocese can’t afford to miss out the opportunity to connect with new people and engage with committed Catholics by stubbornly adhering to business as usual.

The pandemic proved we are empowered to change the status quo.

The pandemic ushered in a new wave of digital technology adoption. A survey by McKinsey found that these adoptions were faster than usual and that many of these changes will likely be here for the long haul. To start, the shift to hybrid work has proven to be so effective and cost-efficient that many organizations are now making remote work a permanent option. These technologies have allowed organizations to create better digital access for employees, improve customer communication, enhance workflow and garner stronger data. Surprisingly enough, shifting gears and changing habits took no time at all when there was little or no option to do otherwise. According to the same survey, it took an average of 11 days for companies to implement a workable solution to the workplace challenges created by the pandemic, and nearly all of the companies had workable solutions within a few months. Catholic Diocese, and the services they provide, adapted during this time as well. These changes were just the start. for church communities. Church leaders across the globe are finding more and more ways to use technology to optimize their operations, increase tithing and attendance, and support fundraising.

What exactly does that mean for Catholic diocese?

Each Catholic diocese is responsible for its operational and financial health. One diocese may have dozens of churches, Catholic schools or outreach centers, each siloed by parish, each operating differently and tracking tuition revenue, donations, and expenses differently. In these situations, the right technology can be the difference between drowning in paperwork or operating efficiently by using a secure and shared digital platform. It can mean no longer manually crunching numbers, easily maintaining financial data across multiple departments, and having all the congregation and fundraising information in one place.

The Catholic Churches of tomorrow need complete digital visibility into their operations and finances—all from one central hub. New, integrated technology pairs accounting, HR, payroll, and budgeting services to support the diocese’s expansive operations.

There’s no telling what’s to come in the years ahead. But one thing is clear: the diocese that can adapt to new technology trends will be better prepared to not only stay the course but get well ahead – and better serve their church communities. Catholic Diocese are the position to consider ways to streamline their operations, enhance their member outreach, and adopt new technologies to support their organization. The use of technology can help reduce administrative burdens and empower even small church staff to perform at a higher level and drive more value for the organization. JMT Consulting has been helping Catholic dioceses and other nonprofits for over 30 years, by introducing new digital advancements and sharing the benefits of technology. Not only does JMT offer objective guidance regarding technology and tools, but they also help implement the software and provide training and support. Their mission-driven approach to finance has helped thousands of charities and nonprofits to navigate change and capitalize on the ways technology can help make every tithe or donation go further. Contact JMT Consulting, a Sage Premier Partner, today to learn how to simplify your day-to-day operations and continue to support your church community.