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Tech savvy seniors

28 February 2024 By Joanna la Fleur

Digital tools and training for older church members


Retirement and older age do not mean being unplugged from the world of technology and digital tools. As we live longer and healthier lives that allow us to be involved in ministry well into our golden years, digital literacy has become a crucial aspect of seniors staying connected with each other, their congregations and their family networks.

Older age in the digital age

• Live-streamed church services and events

Enabling participation in worship and other church activities from the comfort of home can be an amazing blessing. This is especially beneficial for those with mobility issues or health concerns that prevent them from attending in person.

• Online Bible study and prayer groups

These are another way to enable more seniors to effectively engage with their church community. Such groups often meet via video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, allowing participants to interact in real-time, share insights and support each other in their faith journey.

• Social media and messaging apps

Platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram help older adults stay updated on church news and prayer needs, connect with fellow congregants and share encouraging messages, Scripture verses and reflections. Many churches also have dedicated social media pages or groups for seniors where members can post updates, prayer requests and engage in discussions.

• A church email newsletter

Ensuring seniors are signed up is a simple yet effective way to keep everyone updated with important information. But the best email newsletters also help members stay connected. Some even share inspirational messages. It’s a good idea to follow through with seniors to see if they are reading and participating, or if there may be some obstacles that need to be removed.

Increasing skills in these tools

Christian care today means rallying around older adults who may not feel comfortable navigating these digital tools. There are several avenues to increase skills and confidence, but we should not just leave it to seniors themselves to ask for help from younger family members or friends.

Consider hosting a workshop for your congregation. Some churches have hosted very successful technology training sessions for their older members, focusing on tools and platforms that are used within the church community. This not only helps in skill-building but also in strengthening bonds, including intergenerational ones, within the congregation.

If technology is the main way to sign up for events or give offerings to the church, consider having both a "do it yourself" and an assisted version of the necessary tools. Have someone stand beside some laptops or tablets in the foyer who is trained to help register someone and go at their pace, not just a screen where people are already expected to understand how to use the technology.

Alternatives include free classes at the local library, senior centres and online tutorials on YouTube to learn at a comfortable pace. While some seniors may sign up for these by themselves, it’s also helpful for churches to call attention to relevant local offerings.

By embracing these digital tools and helping our older congregants become confident using them, we show care and love. With a little thought and effort, we can all help those in our communities facing physical and geographical barriers to minimize and overcome those barriers through technology and fellowship.


joanna la fleur
Joanna la Fleur is a podcaster, TV host and communications consultant in Toronto. Find more of these columns at

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