As I visit churches, I increasingly wonder to myself why churches are doing some of the things that they are doing in their services. And more importantly, I wonder if churches really have thought through why they are doing what they are doing
In the area of technical ministries, it’s very easy to fall into the mode of thinking about what would be cool to do, and not take it back to how it may further (or more importantly, detract) from the purpose of that event.
Take your weekend worship service. For your typical church, the point of the time of worship through singing is to praise God, and to connect on an emotional level with God. That would involve shutting out much of what’s going on around you and getting yourself into a place where you are fully focused on God.
My wife and I were visiting a number of churches last year, and several of those churches had a moving light rig, and implemented their time of worship more as a rock concert, frequently flashing painfully bright lights into the eyes of those attending. The environment they created (in my opinion) was hardly conducive to bringing people into a place where they can focus on God. Honestly, it was hard to focus on anything because the use of lighting was so distracting. And personally, I think many of the regular attendees where more worshiping the experience rather than God.
I’m not saying that advanced technology such as moving lights are bad. The point I’m trying to make is, why are they using them the way they are using them? Was it really thought through and determined that yes, this creates exactly the atmosphere that facilitates the purpose of the event or service? Or did they simply say, "this would be so cool, and it’s what the secular world is doing with music!"?
So how does this relate to stewardship? Here’s how: if you haven’t thought through how you’re actually going to use the technology your tech team wants to buy, and evaluated whether how it would be used in your events, you could easily be spending many thousands of dollars on gear that also can require a significant maintenance investment each year that actually will detract from connecting your congregation with God.
My encouragement is this: technology can be hugely beneficial, and save your volunteers a lot of time in creating worship environments. But not thinking through specifically how it will impact your MINISTRY GOALS can cause you to buy more expensive gear than you actually need, or buy gear that just will not make sense for your style of worship. You might find that just renting more sophisticated gear the few times a year when it actually makes sense would be far better stewardship.