Every year we are drawing closer to the moment when every man, woman, and child has an internet-enabled device on them at all times. Love it or hate it, that’s the way the culture is going. All of this begs the question – should your parish offer WiFi to guests? Here are a few points of reflection to help you discern:
- Have people been asking for it? Poll your staff and volunteers to see how many parishioners have asked about WiFi access to gauge the actual interest level.
- Do your volunteers need it? Would catechists, guest speakers, and ministry leaders run more effective programs if WiFi were available to them?
- Do your parishioners and guests need it to grow in their faith? There are tens of thousands of good Catholic resources available online. Would your parish community be better served if they could get to these resources easily by using your WiFi?
- What are the risks? This is not just the question of content filtering but also data security. Running separate staff and guest networks can help.
- What are the costs? Every parish campus is different, and the costs of creating or updating your hardware may simply be too much – or it might be less than you think!
No matter what answer you arrive at, make sure it’s the result of prayer, consultation and careful consideration. Always ask yourself, “Will this advance the Gospel at our parish in light of the New Evangelization?” That will help you answer the question, “Should your parish offer WiFi?”