This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Crystal Washington encourages smart technology for congregations

Photo: Crystal Washington speaks on July 7 at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando. Photo by Emma Koop Liechty. 

Crystal Washington engaged her audience with a speech about technology in intergenerational settings at the final featured seminar presentation at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Orlando on July 7.

Washington owns CWM Enterprises and co-founded Socialtunities, an organization that works to teach techniques for strategically using social media. Washington is a published author and has written two books entitled The Social Media WHY and One Tech Action.

In her speech, entitled “GenerationTech,” Washington presented strategies for breaking down generational misconceptions regarding technology.

Washington opened by giving audience members a sense of the scope of change that has taken place during the lifetime of Generation Y or Millennials.

“We have to adapt,” said Washington. She pointed out that people from the Baby Boomer generation or older experienced very little exposure to technology before adulthood.

“We are all more attached to our phones than ever,” said Washington, and with constant updates and changes in technology, it is important that we all stay flexible.

Washington emphasized that people have different learning styles and that in intergenerational settings it is important to be accommodating to a variety of styles.

Washington gave the audience several pointers for incorporating technology into congregations. Her advice included not assuming opposition to technology but polling members on their willingness to use technology in services. She also encouraged cross-generational co-mentorships, pairing “techies with non-techies.”

Finally, Washington encouraged congregations to embrace the knowledge and gifts of both technology and non-technology within the congregation to reinforce learning and participation from people of all ages. 

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