Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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Will the Church respond quickly enough?

A Techie church with outside speakers, satellite dish, large screen and strobe light .
A Techie church with outside speakers, satellite dish, large screen and strobe light.

Should it change at all?

Are we relying on gadgets and technology to attract and keep the crowds?

Things are changing so rapidly.

Or should we stick to our traditions?

Rapidly changing times

Commercials tells us:

How much of this has come into our Christian thinking?
We are told that we are in an ever-changing society.
The old ways are out of date, we’ve got to have new methods, and better techniques.

Does the Church need to modernise or keep doing it the older way?

Some people will be violently opposed to such change, others insist that we are failing God if we don’t use all the latest things.
Who is right?

We want to put across the Christian Faith in such a way that people will stop and listen.
Also, that they will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be enabled to understand it.
But the way we ‘present’ this is an area for disagreements.

Message and method

Peter & Jackie presenting a message.
Peter & Jackie presenting a message.

The first thing to do is to sort out what is the message, and what is the method.

Our Gospel message (which is the message of the whole Bible – the whole counsels of God) does not change.

Our methods may change to relate to a society that is very different from a few centuries ago, and even from a few decades ago.

Christians are using the Internet as a means of reaching out to people, which is good.
‘Power Point’ is used to give more visual presentations which can either enhance the speakers points, or be a total distraction to what the speaker is saying! (I expect we have all experienced both of these).
Sound effects and different lighting with audio and visual effects can be used.
Also drama and dancing is not uncommon.

Worship, or presenting the gospel, or both

The second thing to do at our Church events is to sort out whether we are having an act of worship, or an event which will be aimed at non-Christians.
I’m not saying it is wrong to have unbelievers in a worship service (From my own experience, I discovered the reality of Christians singing hymns in worship to God in a small chapel and it was at this point that I was really challenged to believe in Him).

am saying that we need to be aware of what our aim is, otherwise it becomes a confusing mishmash of worship, presentations, special effects, etc.

I believe we need to be careful not to go too far into giving ‘presentations’ when it is a time for worship.
Otherwise the danger is that people will ‘watch’ rather than worship, or follow everyone else in copying their actions without the heart being involved in worship.

Technology at Church events

Technology is brilliant if it is used well and helps to fulfil the aim of the event.
Quite often technology can sit very uncomfortably within a service if it has just been pushed into it.
There is a need for someone to stand back and rationally look at it.

There is also a danger with technology to put the methods on a higher level of importance than the message itself.
If the technology is offered as the initial attraction without a good message, the people will come for the technology until there is a bigger and better place to go to.

If it becomes the focal point it can lead to a lot of hype with no substance.
Technology is not wrong in itself, but it must point towards Jesus Christ.

Traditional services

Communion table with cross.How many people hang onto traditional formats because that is a ‘safe’ place for them?
The congregation know what is going to happen next.
That may be okay, provided we aren’t putting God in a box and dictating to Him what happens.
In services like this, enthusiasm and emotion can be frowned upon. To challenge that stance, listen to what Jesus said:

“You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.”
Luke 7:45

Is enthusiasm in church services centred on God?

It’s good to have enthusiastic people, but we need to remember this:

“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”
Proverbs 19:2

It is not good to create excited people without a foundation of Biblical knowledge.
Without the latter the work won’t be strong and won’t last into eternity.
In an atmosphere of big enthusiasm it can be difficult to question what is going on, because it can be seen that the zeal is being quenched.
But remember a zeal without knowledge is dangerous.

True knowledge is getting a balanced understanding of the Bible, which creates true and everlasting zeal.

Peter Reason

February 2012

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3 Comments

  • Hi Paul and thanks for your comment.
    I agree.
    Technology needs to be the servant of the substance – the message.
    Feel free to post my blog,
    thanks
    Peter

  • Greeetings my brother, You must have heard my friend and I having this conversation the other night…. You hit the “nail on the head” as they say. I totally agree. We are seeing churches that are more interested in the way they present a message than the message itself. They forget however that the Gospel has power all by itself” It needs no modernisation, back up or surround sound to help it move. All it needs is a humble preacher who has nothing but a word from heaven, who can’t stand still.

    By the way I do appreciate your kindness in posting my blog the other day.. That touched my heart. Thank you my brother. I will gladly do the same for you if I may by posting an excerpt of your blog, probably this weekend.

    Thanks

    Paul.

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