Understanding the use of new media-technology in the 21 st century local church: A case study of media use at Orlando Faith Assembly of God Church
Wm. David Lee, Regent University, United States
Regent University . Awarded
Local church leaders are struggling with the adoption and use of new communication technologies to address their organizational communication needs. A qualitative case study methodology was used to examine in-depth Faith Assembly of God, a large church in Orlando, Florida, and how this local church has used new communication technologies to address their communication needs. The researcher gathered data by observing church services and artifacts at Faith Assembly and from interviews with church leaders, church employees, church members, and visitors. The researcher found that through both rational selection and trial and error, church leaders at Faith Assembly successfully employed newer communication technologies to organize communication in the church office, to create a richer church-going experience, and to cultivate community among internal and external publics. Also in this case, Rogers' perceived attributes theory suggested that relative advantage was the primary attribute in the persuasion stage of the innovation-decision process. Media richness theory suggested that leaders at Faith Assembly made some rational choices when selecting communication mediums to reduce message ambiguity. It was also the case, however, that leaders began to understand their communication needs after they acted, which is in keeping with sensemaking theory. An increase in social capital through the use of traditional and newer communication technologies led to the creation and cultivation of a vibrant community at Faith Assembly.
Lee, W.D. Understanding the use of new media-technology in the 21 st century local church: A case study of media use at Orlando Faith Assembly of God Church. Ph.D. thesis, Regent University.
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