This past Sunday, I was “that” person. The person whose cell phone went off in the middle of worship. I had let my son play with it right before worship, so when I bumped it standing up for a hymn, it was cued up with a paused video… a loud video.
When moments like this happen, to me or someone around me, it always prompts me to consider the pros and cons of having technology in worship.
Some things I affirm:
- Technology is a tool to help us communicate the Good News of the Gospel.
- Technology is one of the churches top offenders for inducing distractions.
- Technology can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of worship preparation and can require a large amount of time to trouble-shoot.
“While technology will never replace the importance of catching the vision, it plays a crucial role in helping churches stay relevant.” – Pushpay, Derek Gillette
So considering all of these things, does technology have a place in the sanctuaries and holy places of our world? YES!
Yes, with some intentionality, it can be a wonderful asset to any church’s ministry. But there are some hazards to avoid:
- Not everything needs technology – To worship, what a community really needs is people and prayer. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with the complexity of technology, step away from it for a while. Plan an “unplugged” service. Have a simple dinner worship. If technology becomes the rock on which your worship stands, you are standing on the wrong rock.
- Technology should enhance and equip – There are so many possibilities with technology. The church needs to constantly ask “why?” when it comes to the use of tech. Are we doing it because it is the latest and greatest? or are we doing it to enable our community to worship? to equip them to pray? sing? lead? You need to answer the WHY? before you figure out the WHAT? and the HOW?
- Technology is not a replacement – While many aspects of community can happen via technology, we need to realize that it is just another door to help us enter the church. Technology can help us stay connected when we are away, let us plug into worship, Bible study, prayer from all over the globe, and let us stay in touch with others in our community… but none of this is a replacement for the total experience of a church community. There always needs to be a consideration of balance in our experience together. Too much of any good thing can be like too much candy… some times it taste good and is fun, but it doesn’t meet the full needs of the body.
How do you use technology in your community? What struggles have you faced? What tips can you offer others? What successes can you share?