Christmas at Highfields and the QR code

No, this is not a new book by Dan Brown purporting to undermine the source material of Christian faith, but a clever piece of communications technology!

Peter Baker | 10:44, Saturday, 03 December 2011

And for the first time Highfields is using it on its Christmas publicity. All you need is an QR Reader app on your smart phone which you then use to scan across the square bar-code image on our publicity for "The Promise". It will automatically take you to our website. Conspiracy theorists need not be anxious about finding 666 hidden in the graphic! 

It means that when we distribute our invite leaflets to the streets around the church or give one to a friend, they can get instant communication about the complete Christmas package, but also the opportunity to see what else we do and believe as a church community.  

What a wonderful communication tool.  With 1 in 3 of us in the UK now using smartphones and virtually everyone under 40 owning one, I expect many of you are already aware of this concept. So you will know how to use it to help the message about our Christmas events go "viral".  

The film industry and others have been using this method to advertise upcoming films for some time now. In that case, the QR code takes people to a video trailer. Now there's an idea for us maybe! 

I have been doing a lot of thinking this term on the way we need to develop social media and information technology to get the message of the Christian faith out. There's huge potential - it's worth investing in this area. 

Already the website is the key gateway for those thinking of coming along to Highfields and it’s a major method of internal communication. Our online media (including recordings and downloads of all our sermons, blogs and an events guide) is growing in usefulness and popularity - the number of "hits" we receive is climbing.

We aim to get more video on the site in the New Year, and also create more written and audio content to encourage, challenge and inspire.  Just as the 16th Century Reformers were among the first to see the benefits of the invention of the printing press, so we need to be all over this medium and use it to proclaim the good news of Christ in the digital age. 

Of course there are dangers and abuses in all technologies and we need to be aware of those. The virtual world is not the real one and there is no substitute for face to face, off-screen communication.  

When God became man, He didn't send a text message or a video update. He came in person to live among us. The Word became flesh. 


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