Over the past 10 years-really over 50 years, technology has expanded beyond belief.
My grandmother does not know how to use a computer, let alone an iPhone, yet my 2-year-old nephew can play games on his mom and dad’s iPhone.
It astounds me how attractive these devices are to all members of society (except for people my grandparents’ age).
The question that is called to mind in my head is whether or not this technological advancement is a good thing for the church community.
My immediate answer is yes and no. Here’s why:
The “Yes” to Technology
These points cater to the awesome things technology does for the church.
1. Technology provides effective visual aids during sermons or Sunday school lessons.
For example, my husband and I attend Velocity Church here in Cincinnati where the church leaders use the projector for their purposes every week.
For each sermon series, they show an introduction video that’s been edited and looks professionally done.
It made me cry.
Where Sunday school is concerned, technology gives teachers tools to use for visual learners.
2. Technology allows the church to communicate with other Jesus followers in other parts of the country or the world.
You’ve all heard of, Skype, right? I once went to a church where the pastor gave a sermon over Skype because he could not be there in person.
Another example was during Chapel at my school one day. The campus pastor arranged for two students who were in India to make a Skype appearance during the service.
3. Technology helps for arranging meetings and between members of the church community.
Email is a useful tool, as well as text messaging. The use of other social media is helpful for getting groups of people together or for informing members of a Bible study about something all at once.
Need I even mention that simple phone calls are extremely helpful, too?
Oh–and I almost forgot google.maps! I know I’ve used that several times for church-related activities.
4. Technology is a way for the church or ministry to market their name.
Many ministries and churches have a website so that they can direct others to their page to learn more about who they are.
Churches or ministries can also send out emails to church members all at once to make special announcements or to remind them of upcoming events.
5. Technology inspires church members to be creative.
One of the things I believe God enjoys is watching his creation create things, too.
Technology provides yet another medium for people to use their brains to make masterpieces or to carve out a new way to do something.
The “No” to Technology
1. Technology can be a distraction if not used in moderation.
I truly believe that technology can take away from the heart of community when it prevents face-to-face meetings indefinitely.
Also, giving kids the iPhone to play with during the service may cause them to do that even as they grow into adulthood.
2. Technology makes socializing too easy.
I know for a fact that I am ten times more confident in myself while on a computer. I find that I am less afraid to speak my mind.
This is a problem. I should not feel more comfortable hiding behind a computer. Sitting behind a computer should make me feel uncomfortable!
I definitely think social media serves as a cop-out for face-to-face interactions.
3. Technology gives people an excuse to listen to sermons online because they don’t want to go out in public
Okay, I’ve done this before. And that’s acceptable. It’s probably even a common thing.
However, doing this week after week cuts people off from exposure to the community setting.
We all need each other and meeting together definitely promotes that.
4. Technology can be used to hurt people.
Remember what I said about the confidence thing?
Well, if you wish to speak your mind to someone who has offended you, it’s way easier to sit behind your computer, type out all your rage, and then send it off without thinking.
If you have something to say to someone, ask to meet with them (after you’ve cooled down) and talk through the problem.
Don’t use technology to communicate important things.
5. Technology tempts our wallets.
When’s that new iPhone coming out? Psh, I don’t know. Nor do I need to know.
What about that new gaming system that costs 300 dollars when your current one works fine?
Additionally, it’s too easy to get carried away with online shopping. Here’s one click, then another; all of a sudden, you’ve spent 100 dollars.
Be good stewards of your money, folks. Before buying the new gaming system, pay attention to those who need the essentials.
Whatever Technology You Use, Keep God’s Glory in Mind
If the technology you use does not represent Jesus, should you use it?
I think any technology COULD represent Jesus; it comes down to how you’re using it.
No matter if it’s an iPhone or a game system, use it for the kingdom of God.
We use technology here at the Inbound Church! Worship with us by clicking here!