It occurred to me that as the church moves into the future, the tools are changing. The gospel does not change, but how we engage with culture in a gospel-centric way is regularly on the move. I can't help but think about those churches who apposed electric sound equipment. Or how about churches who still put their sermons on cassette tape because they are apposed to upgrading to CD; or even those churches who are apposed to putting sermons on-line as podcasts or streaming audio? How many churches still run ads in the Yellow Pages and refuse to get a website?
Today we find pastors and churches who still avoid Facebook and Twitter. There's certainly nothing wrong with this if it's about time addiction or some other personal reason. But if it is just to avoid the technology for the sake of avoidance, pastors are moving themselves to a back-burner with the culture. Facebook is where many people communicate and many churches rightly view Facebook, Twitter, and other social media as the yet another marketplace of communication. Paul took the gospel into the market place of ideas, where he could communicate. The point is not the location but the approach. As we follow this model, we shouldn't be afraid to use the tools around us. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, text-messaging, and many other technological tools should be used for the advancement of the Kingdom to the greater glory of God.
I've been looking at a tool specifically made for churches. It's called The City. It's not a Facebook or a Twitter or another social media vehicle. Instead, it serves more as an administrative tool as well as a communication tool for church members and visitors. It's over the internet and intended to make church work easier. It's certainly not the traditional database system and I can imaging that some church are probably apposed to this kind of tool. Here's a overview:
I'm amazed by the tools available to the Church today. We are indeed blessed. Sure, there have been advances in technology in the past--just image the excitement over the microphone and amplification systems when that was new technology? (And the excitement still exists in this area because I witnessed great joy in the previously mentioned pastor when our church upgraded to a new soundboard. He's the worship leader; of course he'd be excited!) But we should see the rate of advancement today as something of a blessing. Even now, I'm looking at G+ and how that may serve as another marketplace of communication. Yes, at times it's daunting to keep up, but just think of the great need to advance the gospel and reach the culture wherever it may be.
If you're on The City, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. Good, bad? Pros, cons? Let's chat.