Audience response technology helps streamline decision making for houses of worship.
From the outside looking in, churches might not seem to be the sorts of places where the process of voting regularly comes into play.
Anyone who has worked within a religious organization understands that along with matters of the soul, houses of worship regularly deal with more earthly challenges that involve the approval of church leadership, the setting and passing of budgets, and the care of a physical plant in the form of the house of worship and its accessory buildings.
Management like this requires big decisions, and within the faith community those decisions are often made by members who vote on things like budgets and staffing. Though the sizes of congregations across the spectrum of faith in the U.S. have dropped, individual congregations can include as many as 2,000 people and higher. Polling that many people by voice vote, show of hands, or paper ballot can be unwieldy and nearly always inaccurate.
A more affective way to take a pulse on a congregation’s thoughts on proposed measures or take a binding vote is to use audience response technology. This allows members to respond electronically to poll questions or votes, without the hassle and cost of printing individual ballots or the danger of a decision being challenged because of a close result.
And while the traditional “clickers” – handsets that let congregants respond to yes/no/abstain votes or make votes based on multiple-choice questions – are still in use, updates to the technology allow for the use of connected devices like smartphones and tablets to vote via a dedicated app. This makes the process not only more convenient, but far less expensive than leasing or purchasing handsets.