Is technology a snare or a catalyst to the church today?
Technology has no doubt benefited the church greatly. This was especially evident during the pandemic years. We couldn’t go to church, but we could bring church to people. Without it, the lost would have been unimaginable.
But there is still an apprehension about technology. We know its benefits, but we also know too well its ills. How do we strike a balance? Should churches use technology at all? How much should churches rely on technology?
This a dilemma for the modern-day Pastor. There is pressure to keep up with new technology and adopt the newest platform. It can feel like an futile uphill climb, with the distance between where we are and where we are striving to reach only gets wider and wider.
David Teaches Us about Tech
We know the familiar story of David and Goliath. David was given an armor, helmet and coat that weighed a ton. He was going up against a giant twice his size. He needed all the protection and weaponry he could get.
Yet David rejected that suit of metal and its place chose the humble weapon of stones and a sling. That was all he had trained with so far and the results were certain.
We all know the story, the underdog beats the giant. With insurmountable odds, David fells this giant with a mere child’s toy. Lying motionless on the ground, David unsheathes Goliath’s sword and cuts off his head.
David goes on to be a mighty warrior, known for his conquests against the Philistines. We don’t hear again of David using stones and a sling. That season passed. He was faithful to what He knew. He used it well, but he had to leave that behind. Over time, David learnt to use real weapons of war and defeated armies and conquered cities.
Use Technology You Have
David’s tech is no match for our tech today. But its principles are still the same. Allow me to share my stone and slingshot story with you.
I was a young leader. The church was small and I was desperate for apostolic teaching and materials. Hunger led me to search for materials. I invested in VCR and cassette tapes so I could listen to apostolic preaching. There was sacrifice, international shipping at that time was not cheap, but it was all worth it. They were like water in a parched land!
I started building a library of resources of my own. As technology progressed, my library grew from VCR and cassette tapes to mp3s.
Then came a group of young and hungry new converts. They faced parental objection and could not come to church. Desperation gave birth to another idea – our first exploration with audio streaming. It was Media Max and Stream Max then. I uploaded my audio library on these streaming platforms. From afar, I pastored these young converts until they received their parents’ blessings.
Today, 3 out of 5 of them are on staff and the other 2, key leaders in our multi-media ministry.
That was all we had back then, but it was enough.
Pastor and leader, you don’t need fancy equipment or the latest technology. The first step begins with being faithful to the current technology you have and can afford. Do that and God will grow you and your skills as your vision needs it.
Start Where You Are
Pastor and leader, start where you are. Don’t be discouraged by comparison, focus on what you have right now.
Here are some simple steps you can take right now:
- Inform – stay informed of the latest technology and what it can do to help your church be more effective, efficient and engaging.
- Innovate – be open to change, let God use the frustration and desperation in you to birth new ideas.
- Mobilize – bring together a group of people with the technical know-how to advice and support you
- Equip – teach and train your team in new technology. If you can’t do it, look for subject experts who can. There are many options today with online self-learning.
You don’t need an armor of metal to beat Goliath, David did it with his stones and sling. You can too. The same God who trained David is training you.