Thursday, April 11, 2013

Is Technology The Story or Part Of The Story?

Two guys walk into a Starbucks. They grab their coffee and sit down. One pulls out a book to read and flips to the first page. The second guy pulls out a tablet and quickly loads up the first page of the book. Question: which version communicates the message better?
Exactly…they both communicate just as well. But their methods and mediums are different. It’s based on personal preference, needs, flexibility, and availability.
Just because one is more traditional and the other is more technical, does not mean that it does not communicate as well as the other. What matters is that the message or text is easily readable and clear. The story in the book was purpose being poured out through a pen or keyboard. It carried the thoughts, heart, and soul of the author.
The church has been communicating the story of Christ and the message of redemption for a couple thousand years. Salvation is the same; one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. The message stays the same. But the medium has changed. The methods we use depend on our culture and the individuals we are trying to reach.
Our culture is surrounded by technology. That’s why we use technology to reach our generation. But don’t be deceived; technology is not the important part of this. The communication is.
Being on the cutting edge is not what matters. Sure, it’s easy to want better speakers, a nicer mixing console, or a lighting fixture with more flexibility. But, unless you know how to use it and it’s helping to carry the message better, it’s taking away from the story and has no place in your church. It’s important to choose the best level of technology to communicate the story in the clearest way to the people you’re trying to reach.
The truth is; a church without technology can communicate just as well as a church with technology – just like a book can communicate as well as a tablet. But any time technology ceases to support the story – the message – it actually hurts. It turns the book into a better way to communicate than the tablet. But when technology is right, it can actually make the story better. It can help it connect better. It can communicate more and more efficiently.
I love technology. I love being a technical director. But I love the story of Jesus more. The binding, cover, and feel of a book might be awesome. But the coolness will quickly fade if you open it up expecting to read an amazing story yet the pages are stark and empty. Without the greatest story ever told, none of my gear, talents, or skills matter.
The story is what makes me important as a servant of the Lord. The glory of God flows through us when we serve with an open heart and willing hands. We get to carry the story and make it real. When we serve with excellence, we get to carry the thoughts, heart, and soul of the Author of the universe to those who want to know about Him. We have an incredible purpose; let’s be all we can be and serve with excellence.

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