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Facial recognition software in the church?

Technology keeps getting more and more advanced. Today, I just learned of new technology being used here in Nashville, TN to make facial recognition of app users as they enter businesses and then give them exclusive deals as they shop. Kind of neat – plus it gives keeps them from the dreaded “check-in”. More after the jump.

Take a look at the info in the video below.

Yep. Kind of sweet. I find this interesting since I recently asked a question on twitter and got only one response in the affirmative about “check-ins”:

Personally, I only checked in anywhere to get tips or to get offers. If there was a way to get “deals” without doing work…then it seems like this is a “win-win”. …

…but I’m going deeper here.

…what if we used this in the church?

What if we were bold enough to use this handy feature as a way to deliver devotional content to families as they entered the church? The daily sermon notes? A welcome? From where I am standing…I see the potential as being limitless. It would stand to reason that the app would be intelligent enough to distinguish a person’s first visit from their their third – so why not be able to create a welcome

video delivered for first time guests that, perhaps, shows them how to get to childcare or key areas of the church along with a free cup of coffee coupon? Are you thinking out loud with me?

The bottom line – I’ve sent this video already to three people since I’ve first received it this morning. Two of the three people responded with some fearful “what is this world headed to / mark of the beast / woe is me” response. The truth of the matter is this. If many of us did this years ago with other “scary technology”, we’d still be using Hymnals and looking up and down, up and down, up and down while singing and would never have agreed to go to *insert dramatic “dum dum dum” music* transparency cells. Then later, if we didn’t embrace other scary technology, we’d still be straining to see the smaller words that seemed to get crammed at the bottom of the transparency cells (or covered by the hand moving them) instead of moving to *insert dramatic “dum dum dum” music again* Power Point. (You feeling me, here?)

We need to learn to embrace the technology around us as quickly as the culture around us is. Not everything is built for evil – and much can be used for God’s glory. So…with that being said. How are YOU using today’s technology in cool ways? Let us know in the comment area below!

3 thoughts on “Facial recognition software in the church?”

  1. Kevin T. says:

    Hey Jason. I don’t even know how I stumbled across your blog today, but I found it rather interesting. I’m in my 22nd year of ministry and my wife and I recently started or 2nd church just about 3 years ago. I would absolutely utilize this technology to track members and visitors. You could automate responses to both 1st time visitors as well as members who may have been missed a couple weeks in a row.

    If it weren’t cost prohibitive, I would employ this idea today!

    I like how you think. 😉


    P. Kevin
    Connection Life Church
    Salem, OR

    1. mm
      Jason Whitehorn says:

      Glad you stumbled across us, Kevin! Hope all is well for the congregation in Salem!

  2. David says:

    This is very invasive and inappropriate. Yes, there will be those who see ” profits and business” projections, but sadly they have lost sight of who’s house they are in. This is ” customer tracking”, and it is unfair to all those who attend in trust that they are not being ” tracked” for marketing purposes.

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