Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How can we use technology in church (in and out of worship)?

An artcle just released by Reuters said that diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend,. According to a new U.S. study, three of four women would prefer a new plasma TV to a diamond necklace. The study also found that women were found on average to own 6.6 technology devices while men own 6.9--a virtual tie, and a surprising reversal.

When women are preferring tech gadgets to diamonds, we know that we have reached a paradigm shift in our culture. Technology is becoming ubiquitous.

Which brings up issue of the church and technology. While we now have powerpoint displays, we are still pretty low-tech in most all of our churches. How could we use things such as the web, text messaging, imagery, etc. more effectively both inside and outside of our worship? (Matt, any ideas?)


MattSmith said...

Oooh, something I can get into!

Concerning main church service and sundays, I believe that a projector, powerpoint presentation, and you recording your sermons are all fantastic ways to add to a sermon(Visual aids in Projector and Powerpoint), and making sermons available to those online that maybe couldn't make it that day. Podcasts are very popular these days, maybe converting these sermons into one of them, someone may use it. While it would seem we are lower on the tech scale, I know a lot of churches that don't even have a projector.. I think too much technology, such as recording video and broadcasting, cripples the "coming together" of church.. so I believe we're doing good combing a healthy amount of technology and church service itself.

Out of worship, I think that Technology can be priceless. You can create online forums to keep people together when they cannot be at church. Debate, News, and just general chatter can be posted, replied to, and discussed as people log in and out during the day. A message board essentially. I have a friend that is a Lutheran Minister in Georgia and his online forums keep people together, announce news, and coordinate events. I think that this would been a good addition for our website, as it could help announce backpack sales, and other coordination efforts could be taken higher than a phone.

Also, educating people is a very good thing. Face it parents, your kids these days know much more than you when it comes to the computer.. for the most part. They spend their days browsing websites, Myspace, chat rooms, and more. They know better than you do whats out there. The difference is, they might not know how to handle it. Internet Predators are a dangerous thing, and if you don't take care in your childs life, they could fall victim to such. I think, as I've talked to you James, a series of classes perhaps over a few weekends would prove invaluable to those parents that want to know how to help their kids, but are scared of the things! While some will think its "snooping" and "breaking privacy", they could take from the class what they want, and leave the rest at the door. While this doesn't directly affect church and technology, this affects Families and Church... and technology... heh.

With the Message Board/Forum comes a slew of add-ons and welcoming tools.. making sort of an "online ministry" I suppose.. A place where you can go to when the Church necessarily isn't an option. While James, and any of the other members are just a call away.. sometimes you just need to log in and maybe throw up a post.. or write in a blog/read a blog... or something along these lines. Creating a central place where people can go and get this all.. would be sort of like our Church Home while we're at home.

Mostly just rambling.. but I think I covered a few things I've been thinking about lately. I'm glad you went towards this post... I'm learning about Christ and reading the scriptures, so I can't necessarily help the Church when it comes to teaching scriptures.. But Technology is my life away from church, and I'm glad to put in my input.

MattSmith said...

Oh.. and better data management/organization abilities. People could log in and alter their own church directory entry.. keeping everything up to date. Now, this could make it so you guys can't follow the members.. but you could make it so it emails any changes. People would only be able to alter their own, and would require a set up user/pass by an administrator.

I guess what I should just say to umbrella it all is... The internet technology has so many options available to help us keep in touch, learn from one another, and grow as a church when going to the Church isn't an option. Lots of organizational tools, management, and communication...

And I'm done for real this time ;)

James said...


Sorry for the slow response. Despite preaching on Sunday, I have been under the weather the last few days.

Anyway, thanks for the great ideas and perspective. Clearly, technology is important to younger people, and it has many uses for ministry today. My question--when can you start? :) Let's get together.

MattSmith said...

Fortunately, working third shift leaves my days completely empty, unless Mary Lee needs running around. Just name a day/time and I can be there to talk about it.

James said...

Thanks, Matt! I hope to get together with you soon.