We live in a technologically advanced and inter connected world. In any Congregation it is likely there will be people who are highly competent users of diverse electronic apparatus.
Technology isn’t something new. It could be argued that through most of the Christian era society has been engaged in the challenge of adjusting to or responding to technology. There has been a rapid growth of practical technology which has radically impacted the daily life of everyone. How has the church responded? Although some may disagree the modern Church in New Zealand has been something of a spectator when it comes to advancing technological infrastructure. Although the technological impact on life has been immense it has made only a minimal impact on the way our church operates and carries out her mandate in the world.
As Lay Preachers many of us grapple with the phenomenon of Cell Phones, I Pads and e-readers in Church. It needs to be noted that there are new and emerging ‘Applications’ or digital tools which people are becoming familiar with. This present discussion is not about the merits or otherwise of personal technologies in Church such as Digital Bibles and or Reference resources. Technologies in the context of Lay Preaching is about anything which might be introduced between the Preacher and Congregation. Technologies should not be intrusive and attention diverting.
Photocopiers and Data projectors are prominent in many property Inventories. Some congregations are experimenting with digital projection and videography equipment in order to create a Global Internet presence. Most Churches use some form of amplification from the Pulpit. This equipment can be problematic if not maintained and cared for. Sadly because they are not adequately serviced, faltering and inadequate audio amplification systems are to be found in churches everywhere. Often these have been installed by ill-advised and enthusiastic amateurs. The essential thing for the Lay Preacher to do, is recognise the adequacy or otherwise of the microphone to be used. The technical proving of amplification is not the Lay Preachers responsibility.
Not all of the changes brought about by technology have been beneficial to the Church. Because the church has often ignored technological change its not well positioned to lead a critical evaluation of the impact electronic changes may be having on the individuals in the worshiping community. The Lay Preacher would do well to remember in each congregation there will be variety of personal technology such as Hearing Aides. When speaking it is vital to ensure adequacy of vocal variety, pitch, rhythm and rate. This makes it easier for people with impaired hearing to hear and understand.