Tension: Tech vs. Touch

Tension: 1) The act or process of stretching something tight. 2) The interplay of conflicting elements.


Tech: Video screens, websites, email, social media, kids check in systems, lighting, sound reinforcement, podcasts, web streams, efficient systems, evites, invites, devices . . . everywhere we look the modern church is permeated with technology at a significant level.

Touch: Small groups discussions, hand written notes, knowing peoples names, shaking hands, visiting people’s homes, freshly baked cookies, team meetings, personal greetings, potluck eatings . . .  personal interaction is a vital part of the “business” of church.

Two things I’ve observed while working in churches over the last number of years:

  1. People don’t come to a church because of the amazing light show we put on every weekend.
  2. When people leave big churches they don’t go to the “big church down the road” with better intro videos . . . they go to smaller churches where they have a better shot at being known.

At Liquid Church, we are feeling the Tech vs. Touch tension big time.

We want to use every tool at our disposal to the present the timeless message of Jesus in a compelling and exciting manner.  We know our time is short on the planet and technology can be a great short cut to reaching more people.

At the same time . . . we value high touch as well.  We know that people invite friends to church.   We are aware that if second time guests are going to have a shot making our church a home they need to make a human connect with some people.

We feel like we do the high tech thing pretty well.  At this point we need to find a way to up the tension on the high touch side of the equation.  We are challenging our teams to find ways to increase touch with every interaction.

I’d love to learn from you.  What are some ways that you balance out this tension?  Leave some feedback now.


  1. We visited a mega church a week ago. I noticed that before we reached the foyer, 3 people, had spoken to us and greeted us.

    I also think we need to get back to the ‘old-fashioned’ idea, recognizing those around us in our space. We would be chastised as kids if we didn’t acknowledge, speak to, people we knew on the streets of our small town. I think we need to ‘preach’ that still in our churches, don’t sit down until you look who is sitting near you, recognizing them they exist. I know multiple service churches don’t have time to include an official greeting time, which is often forced, I find, but if people would just naturally recognize people around them, I think everyone wants to feel that they are valuable and not nameless and faceless.


  2. I visited 3 different churches over the last couple of weeks – each was a very interesting mix:

    The first was a well-known megachurch with probably the HIGHEST tech and highest touch factor I have ever experienced in a church environment.

    The second was a growing, vibrant church. HIgh tech, not high touch. This was actually pretty surprising to me – I wonder if the low touch factor (and it was low, not just ‘not high’) is hindering even further growth?

    The third was a small, doing-what-they-can kind of church. Probably higher tech than they need to be but definitely making up for it with the high touch factor.

    None of the three left me with a negative impression. Each impression left was different but overall pretty positive.

    All I know is that every church I’ve been a part of (either as an attender or staff) it has always been the touch factor which has left the lasting impression. The tech factor fades quickly – great comment about people not coming to church because of the light show. The relationships, memories and stories are what will last in our minds.

    (Yeah yeah yeah, of course HOW we facilitate relationships, make memories and tell stories will always be dependent on the tech factor.)

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