5 ways to satiate tech savvy people in your church

The United Methodist Communications office website offers 5 ways to allow the gifts of tech-savvy people to shine through in churches.

Worshipping never has been limited to sitting in a pew. Connecting to God happens everywhere—kneeling before bedtime, sitting with those who are ill, asking quietly for help before a big test.

Now, technology is exponentially increasing ways to engage in worship outside the traditional service. Creating these for tech savvy adults and youth also may let you reach an audience completely new to your church.

Hattip to the Faith & Tech Blog.

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8 thoughts on “5 ways to satiate tech savvy people in your church

  1. These are five more reasons I detest the very denomination of the church where I currently attend. There’s so much wrong on so many levels with those five points. **sigh**

    If we could upload electronically to God we would be Cylons.

  2. I am beside myself at the way the UMC is all about applying corporate marketing techniques to promoting its church – instead of applying biblical truth and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ll give you a point by point breakdown…

    1. Bible reading on the go. That sounds good, and in principle this is least objectionable of the points at hand. When I read the fine print, however, they are promoting an anything goes approach to bible reading. It isn’t about discipleship, its about dumbing down God’s word. Let’s not study scripture, let’s get a sip here and there like its a whiskey flask we pull out in a quiet moment. Perhaps I’m being overly judgmental here, but that’s the mental image I get reading this point.

    2. Online prayer requests. Let us take gossip to a whole new level, shall we. I realize that online is “just another communication medium” for people, but when we put things in writing in a public forum it becomes something else. I joined a prayer request group on Facebook. The group keeps getting bigger. People are asking for prayer for all sorts of things that I don’t want to know about. I should know be aware of some of what people put out there. I have no desire to use that information, but when you post something in a public forum, anyone can take that info and use it in very very bad ways. I have come to loathe this format. Sometimes a public request is fine, but some things should never be public. Some people can’t tell the difference. The worst thing someone can do is post a prayer request for someone else without their permission, thus making what may be a very private matter public. I think you get the idea.

    3. Twitter inside and out. Let’s promote ourselves, shall we. As a blogger I value site traffic. I use Twitter and Facebook to promote my wp site. Frankly I’m a bit torn here because I feel like a hypocrite when I say this, but when a church goes to promoting itself or a ministry goes to advertising, it is a short trip from inviting the lost to hear the gospel to telling the world how great you are and why you need to come listen to me. I often question myself, my motivation, my goals, and my accomplishments online. But there’s a line. I don’t know if I cross it or not, to be honest, but I see the big red UMC logo and my guts churn. It makes me really think I should consider scrubbing myself out of the online community altogether. I may yet. Another completely different aspect of this is promoting people to connect electronically instead of personally. Jesus was all about human contact, not email. He never sent a letter. He touch people. He confronted them. He looked in their eyes and he was brutally honest. The apostles wrote letters, and the gospel accounts, but that was to unify, keep pure and protect the message already delivered personally. If you and I could have a cup of our favorite beverage together, laugh, pray together, hug, and see each others eyes when we speak this conversation would be very different, I think. Perhaps not as much in content, but you would know my heart and feel my pain and recognize the depth of my conviction.

    4. Sermons go video. Be a doer, not a hearer only. There’s a time for every season. There’s also another excuse to forgo the communion of saints. Its all about what I can get, not what I can give. I can get from a video, but I can’t give of myself to another soul by sitting in front of a TV. Many of us go to church for the wrong reasons. If we went to give, instead of get, then the idea of being a watcher instead of a doer would feel as absurd as it sounds when you see it laid out.

    5. Movie making. Tozer would have a field day with this one. In fact, he wrote quite a bit and preached heavily on the big fat lie of Christian entertainment. Again, there’s a time and place for everything, but its a short step. The word “amuse” is formed from the prefix “a” and the root word “muse”. Muse means to think. “A” means not or non. To be amused means to take your mind off or to not think.

    The summary of problems is selfishness, promoting a human answer over Jesus, disconnectedness, and dumbing and numbing ourselves.

  3. I’ll add this:

    //Worshipping never has been limited to sitting in a pew. Connecting to God happens everywhere—kneeling before bedtime, sitting with those who are ill, asking quietly for help before a big test.//

    I agree completely.

    //Now, technology is exponentially increasing ways to engage in worship outside the traditional service.//

    No, it doesn’t. Not one iota. Worship in spirit and truth. There is no other way.

    //Creating these for tech savvy adults and youth also may let you reach an audience completely new to your church.//

    Reach with what? For what? Who is helped by replacing human contact with electronic contact?

  4. Ironically, I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you say. I think we differ in the degrees. I don’t see any of what you said to be a reason to chuck the entire enterprise out and I don’t see any of it as flat out ‘wrong’. I see all the things you mention as challenges that need to be remembered when doing it. There’s always the risk that prayer concerns (at church level or at the online level) runs the risk of gossip, but I don’t recommend stopping them (and if you advocate stopping one for gossip you must advocate for the other for the same reason). The version of the bible they mention actually have long reading plans and isn’t dipping in. Certainly the printing press invention probably took the bible out of the community and pushed more as a private devotional material than anything the internet has done. So with any technology we need to be aware of its pitfalls as well as its opportunities. And most people who use new technologies as a means of communication seek to bring people into physical contact with others, and I read that in the article. No one I have heard supporting technologies has also said this should replace human contact.

    But to make this a reason to further detest a denomination is overkill.

  5. Perhaps I am given to over reaction. It isn’t just these points, its some of what I’ve experienced elsewhere in the marketing arm of the UMC. This is like icing on a sour cake. Of course there’s degrees. You seem to have a reasonable grasp both of what was originally posted and where I’m coming from, so I appreciate your thoughtful response. And for the record, I don’t detest the denomination. I detest the marketing techniques I so often see employed by this (and most) denomination(s). The UMC is just one of the more out front denoms. Or maybe its because I’ve been dropped into the UMC culture for over a year now and its very visible to me.

    Anyway, sorry if I’m overreacting. Its more the notion of dehumanizing the great commission and replacing the gospel of Jesus with the gospel of church that really makes me cry with pain.

  6. Pingback: Critiquing the UMC Bureau of Communication | divinelogos

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