Technology and Church

Technology and Church

If you can’t do it extremely well, don’t do it.

Last weekend, I spent an hour at a church service where people half-heartedly attempted to utilize technology. And failed. Miserably.

The “contemporary” music was one woman singing from a keyboard and a microphone covered by one of those foam pad things.

The screen and projector was consistently off from what was happening.

The video didn’t start for at least two minutes after it was supposed to.

Someone in the back kept adjusting the color and brightness levels of the screen.

The pastor’s mic worked only occasionally.

It was an utter disastrous attempt to utilize technology in the name of becoming “relevant.”

The only “revelant” thing about the church service was the time on the clock.

Listen, I’m not bashing the “heart” of this church community; I’m only trying to make a point. If Christians are unable to utilize technology in exceptional ways, to use it will only damage their missional intentions.

Many churches missed the boat entirely on the last decade of technological revolution. Some are playing catch-up and doing so poorly; some are avoiding it altogether in the name of tradition, ignorance, or fear; and others are actually utilizing technology effectively.

“Sadly, despite being warned, many churches, denominations, and individual Christians missed this stage of the revolution entirely. Even worse, as many are dimly becoming aware that the tsars in denominational headquarters can no longer control the conversations, they are producing new media content as if the revolution were still in the early stages,” writes John Mark Reynolds in The New Media Frontier.

For today’s blog, I’m going to post some links to websites which are examples of churches who are avoiding technology of the web, just now using technology of the web (and poorly), and churches who are actually attracting people to the web in the name of love and the Great Commission.

Why even put these websites up?

http://elclongview.com/

http://www.gslclasvegas.org/

http://www.firstgoodshepherd.org/

Average websites needing a vast improvement:

http://www.hosannalc.org/ (yes yes I know, but it’s not secret this church needs a web upgrade)

http://www.clclv.org/ (yes yes I know, but it’s no secret our church needs a web upgrade)

http://www.prairielutheran.org/

http://www.nhlc.org/

My non-Christian friends would check this website out and use it:

http://www.marshillchurch.org/

http://www.vivalaverve.org/

http://www.crosspoint.tv/

http://www.lifechurch.tv/

“After all, just because you are on the Internet does not mean anyone is paying attention. As new media make the Internet more crowded, the quality will be the easiest way to get through the noise,” Reynolds writes.

It’s true: To just put up a website is not effective; in fact, it is damaging. To just sing “contemporary” songs or use a video projector and do it poorly, forget it. Not worth it.

If churches don’t use technology exceptionally, it’s not worth it and will only damage missional intentions.

On a personal confession, my blog site is nowhere up to standards in terms of looks. If I’m going to use my blog to be truly missional, I will need to improve the look dramatically.

But this post is not about blogs and instead about church websites.

What do you think?

Plan B ~ A Timely Read In My Life

What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought He would?

The subtitle of this book, Plan B by Pete Wilson, is the question he explores with honesty and authenticity.

In summary, this book is about much more than what to do in the face of pain and suffering, which is originally what I thought it was going to be about. Instead, it was about so much more. In his strongest chapter, Whiplash, Wilson says: “But if Paul doesn’t know the what, when, and where, he does know the answer to one important question. He knows WHY he’s doing what he’s doing. He knows his purpose, his mission – to bring glory to God with his life” (77).

When I began reading this book, I kept thinking, “Alright, this is solid, but this message isn’t for me. I mean, my life is good, why do I need a Plan B?”

But then I read those words above. In correlation, I found out that same day something I was sure of suddenly became unsure.

How am I going to respond in the face of uncertainty? What kind of person am I going to be when God doesn’t show up exactly the way I had planned?

Essentially, as Wilson writes, I had put my purpose, my hope, my assurance in the DREAM. But my dream had become my idol. Heck, my plans every day have become my idol.

Instead, my hope and trust is in God alone.

As Wilson asks, “What would you do if you were certain God was going to show up?”

We must live with this kind of faith. God is always there. He hasn’t abandoned us when things don’t turn out the way we thought.

Further, Wilson challenged me by asking: “What is your Jordan River? What is your Plan B situation? Where is God asking you to take a seemingly impossible step, a step of faith?” (45).

Seek first His kingdom. That’s our agenda. That’s our plan A, plan B, and every plan from there on out. To cross the Jordan River of uncertainty, we must first and always seek first His kingdom.

This book taught me way more than I thought it was going to. Don’t wait for your Plan B to slam you in the face before reading this book.