Imagine you’re in a church for the first time, it is time for the sermon, and the preacher has been called, you expect the preacher to walk up stage, at least that’s what you’re used to seeing, instead the floor of the pulpit opens, and the preacher seems to levitate up stage; you thought such technologies were restricted to sci-fi fictions or at most those discovery channel documentaries, but now you’re seeing it for the very first time, for real life and weirdest of all, in church.
As if that was not enough, the pastor shouts the usual, “raise your bibles and say this is my bible and I believe it…” You raise your bible, a book of course, at least that’s what you’re used to holding, but he raises an IPad.
Then all of a sudden you remember the first weird thing that struck you when you came to the church, it was praise and worship, you looked at the pulpit and saw the “familiar church equipments”: the organ, drumsets, guitars and trumpets, at least that’s what you’re used to seeing, but then, some “unfamiliar church equipments” got your attention: the elaborate stage lighting, the pyrotechnics, image magnification systems …and then you thought to yourself, Where am I?!
Well if you identify yourself with the fictional character in the above paragraph this is what I have to say to you, Welcome to the Church of the 21st century! A century where the hardcover bibles have been substituted for tablets –e.g. the Ipad — ; underground lifts, rotating pulpits, big projector screens , have given the sacred altar funky features ; and the sophisticated musical gadgets make praise and worship sessions look like big rock concerts.
Over the years, technology has become a pertinent support for the church, for example, internet technologies have allowed churches reach a wide audience cheaply. However, today, technology has taken on a new and interesting role in the church – this new role is its use on the pulpit. For the techies and non- techies, it is really fun to be in church during this era. Of course, these new gadgets on the pulpit have brought controversy; while some say the tools have made the church more interesting and in tune with technological advancement, others have questioned its spiritual value. However, regardless of any stance, it is somewhat obvious, intuitively, that technology will remain and continue to evolve in the church.
Well my theory, if God owns man, and man owns technology then logically God owns technology; therefore no amount of technology is too much or too ostentatious for the church. So the next time you walk into a church, and it seems like all its activities are being controlled by sci-fi gizmos, do not panic, it’s the new move.
By Aghogho Sam-Umurhurhu