God is the ultimate filter for every part of our lives—including technology
Technology is powerful—drawing you in, altering your world and expectations, even defining who you are. If you’re not careful, what you start out controlling has a way of controlling you.
There’s nothing quite like the power of saying yes. The ability to say yes is heady, immediate and satisfying. It’s the feeling of having the world at your fingertips. No matter what the latest “it” app is, with the slide of that finger, the press of a button or the click of a mouse, your options magically unfold in nearly geometric progression.
But with every yes comes a consequence: when you say yes to all this technology, you attach yourself to a digital umbilical cord that can be difficult to remove—even temporarily.
If you’re not careful, what you start out controlling has a way of controlling you.
We should use technology to help glorify God, not put on a show
Technology in a church setting can be a difficult issue. When referring to the sound, video and lighting aspects of a church sanctuary, we all have our own varying experiences.
On the positive side, a well-lit room may inspire us to forget what is going on around us and create an environment that draws us closer to God. But isn’t it strange how the same tools can be
distracting by demanding our attention and causing us to take our eyes off God?
The fact is that many churches commonly use equipment that was initially developed for use in concert tours and theater productions. In theater settings, technical equipment is used to bring scenes alive. It directs our focus and makes us believe we are somewhere else. In concert tours, it builds excitement and stimulates our senses.
How to find the right technology to launch and sustain growth
According to a 2010 survey conducted by Leadership Network, more than 5 million people attend a multisite campus church in North America. In fact, more people attend multisite churches than megachurches.
Much of this movement is possible because of technology. Internet technology enables churches to stream video in a variety of ways, making it possible for churches to replicate all or part of their main church’s service to additional locations.
When consulting with churches, Jim Tomberlin, a multisite church strategist and founder of MultiSite Solutions (multisitesolutions .com), often begins by offering some important up-front education: “First of all, churches need to know that at least half of their startup costs will be in the technology area. Second, a church that is considering multisite has to decide how it wants to deliver its teaching content: through live in-person at each campus or by video.”
How the right software can help you meet individual needs
Ministry and community are a huge part of what the local church is and should be about. But in the age of the multicampus megachurch, how can the pastors, church staff and members realistically maintain authentic community and effectively minister to thousands of members?
If you’re in a church of 200 to 500 people and John Doe (one of 15 volunteers on Sunday morning) doesn’t show up for his shift of handing out bulletins, chances are someone knows why he isn’t there. This is because in smaller congregations, personal connections happen organically due to family ties, long-standing friendships, and social interaction inside and outside the church.