How the Church can use technology to usher in a revival

Technology touches our lives daily, if not hourly. In an ocean of hype and ominous news about innovation and its impacts, a community-centred group of technology professionals has found ways to share the gospel and empower the Church.

FaithTech is a global organisation birthed out of Waterloo, Ontario, in 2016. Over the past eight years, it has spread internationally and has finally come to Oceania under the leadership of Regional Manager Adrian Tam.

“Technology is an operating system for all of society with the greatest influence on the world, we want it to be redemptively transformed.” – Adrian Tam

In 2020, as the pandemic gripped the world, FaithTech experienced unprecedented community growth as tech-minded Christians worldwide joined the community. FaithTech now sees tech professionals and tech enthusiasts forming small communities that regularly meet to fellowship, pray, share ideas, and volunteer their time to build solutions for the Church.

As an example of how FaithTech has built technology solutions that help churches and ministry-focused organisations, volunteers built websites that attracted people searching online for ways to harm themselves. These websites would appear in harmful Google searches, and when the seekers clicked through, they found content that gave hope and shared the love of Jesus.

In another example, four volunteers at a FaithTech hackathon developed an App for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) to measure the impact of their aid and medical work in developing nations and share these stories with their donors. The App allowed MAF pilots to record data such as the number of vaccines given, communities reached by evangelists; patients tended to by MAF doctors, flight data, hours flown, the number of landings, and the locations visited. This information is translated and shared with donors and supporters who partner with them to continue the work.

“We pray expectantly for revival in the tech industry and that technology would help usher in the next great revival.” – Adrian Tan

Share Bibles App project was built by FaithTech volunteers to help Youth with a Mission (YWAM) track which homes had received a Bible and which hadn’t during its distribution efforts. As of June 2023, the app has tracked the distribution of 197,484 Bibles in 40 countries. The Share Bibles App also helped quantify incredible insights, such as only 5.15 per cent of households offered a Bible refused it.

“Technology is an operating system for all of society with the greatest influence on the world; we want it to be redemptively transformed,” says Tam. He adds, “we pray expectantly for revival in the tech industry and that technology would help usher in the next great revival.”

Today, FaithTech is in 37 cities and 14 nations and has deployed dozens of technology products. Regional Managers oversee North America, MENA (Middle East and North Africa), Asia and Oceania. Sharing his experience of stepping into a regional manager role, Tam says, “The impact of technology on the world, as well as on the Church, discipleship and missions, is significant and increasing, but I also began to wonder about the inverse – the impact of the Church, and Christians, on the technology industry.” This desire to help shape the tech industry led Tam to connect with key individuals and organisations worldwide seeking to do just that. “I came across FaithTech, and was gripped by their mission and vision,” he says.

“We talk about and think about faith, AI, tech addiction, a theology of technology and more.”

FaithTech meetups happen in person and online. “These operate on a simple model of eat/learn/build,” says Tam. This model fosters friendship, deep thinking about the intersection of faith and technology, and working collaboratively to build real-world solutions that positively contribute to the Church and the world.

“We talk about and think about faith, AI, tech addiction, a theology of technology and more,” he shares. FaithTech practises what it calls redemptive technology design – building technology with a biblical mindset and method. “We believe that there is a uniquely Jesus-way of building technology that changes the world while also transforming those who build it,” says Tam. This approach and development process is in the FaithTech Playbook.

Prayer has a central role in this work. “It’s easy to be led by research, data and our expertise. Those things are important, but we want to invite the Spirit into everything we do,” Tam says.

Each FaithTech city community has a designated ‘prayer lead.’ “This person’s specific focus and priority is to ensure that there is a culture and rhythm of prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit infused into the community at every level,” Tam says. “Without prayer and dependence on God, we are just another well-meaning organisation seeking to do good. We want to be used by God as a vehicle through which he can bring true and lasting transformation to this influential industry.”

Tam looks forward to Christians in tech connecting and sharing their stories and passions. “I believe that we will see incredible projects, platforms and initiatives being birthed that will provide concrete solutions to real-world problems,” he says. “I believe that Christians in tech will harness the gifts given to them to see God’s kingdom come in powerful and tangible ways. I also see the church in our region being equipped with new tools to engage with technology in redemptive, wise and courageous ways,” he says.

FaithTech is hosting a OneDay Virtual event this Saturday, 24 February 2024, to gather Christians in tech across the Asia and Oceania Regions. They have invited speakers who will explore innovation with frontier technology to advance the Kingdom of God. There will also be time to meet others, and build together. It’s free to attend either for the full day, for a few sessions. You can check out the sessions and speakers, and register here.

Adrian Tam has a background in church ministry and church planting and is a panellist at the upcoming ISCAST conference. You can contact Adrian to learn more about FaithTech and how you can get involved.