Funny I forgot that the message this weekend was going to be mission and vision. So Mike talked about relevance and excellence. I find it interesting that when I started this journey with this series of blogs I didn’t know where it would end, and then Mike talks about why we do what we do in the message this weekend. Coincidence, I think not. Mike made the point that while the way the message is told changes, the message never changes. Jesus did some pretty revolutionary thing to help get the message out; drawing in the sand, observing someone planting, getting out in a boat.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV
I think that is pretty clear, so my last argument in the technology debate is FOR again. Using technology keeps the way the message is spread relevant. Read that carefully, technology doesn’t make the message relevant, it is relevant regardless of technology. Technology makes the way it is told relevant, and I would even go as far as to say; by making the WAY it is told relevant you make SOME people more receptive to it.
In this day in age where people are bombarded by information and technology these things have become part of who we are. Honestly, while sad to admit I am not sure how I ever got along before smart phones. I don’t know what I would do if I had to wait somewhere and I didn’t have access to angry birds. The lesson here is, if you want to talk to me in a way that speaks to me then you need to play in my sandbox. Otherwise I am probably not going to listen.
FOR: While the message never changes the way it is told has to change, or else it will stagnate and die. By using technology I think you present the gospel in a way people are comfortable hearing about it, and by doing that you remove barriers and make people more receptive to it.
This goes hand in hand with my soapbox on lyrics on the projection screen. I tell all of my volunteers THAT is the most important part of what we do, the lyrics. Why? I am glad you asked. Let me set up a scenario for you: You are not a believer, but you are interested and want to know more. So you go and visit a church. This church uses hymnals.
Let me stop right there and say I have no problem with hymnals… but this scenario isn’t about me it’s about this mythical non-beliver keep that in mind.
So when it comes to the worship some says turn to hymn 235, so you turn the hymnal (after you see everyone else pick up the BLUE BOOK not the BLACK BOOK) and you turn to page 235 and find hymn 243… quickly realizing your mistake you find the right page. By this time everyone is singing but you. So you find the right page, however you don’t read music… So you follow along for a verse and see how the congregation is following the words… then it goes the the second verse and you get lost again. Finally you figure out how this whole hymnal thing works … once you get to the bottom it goes back to the top of the page and you read all the NEXT lines…. ok great. By this time they are finishing the second verse, but you are ready this time, you look to the third verse and you start to sing out…. only to discover … they skipped the third verse. They skipped the third verse!?! WHY? Because NEVER NEVER NEVER in the 25 years the church has been around have they EVER sung the third verse of that hymn.
Now, tell me in THAT moment, how worshipful do you feel?
Hymnals are not bad, barriers are bad. If they aren’t a barrier for your people, keep them. If it aient broke don’t fix it. However, if you want to reach the seekers you have to REMOVE the barriers… and stay relevant.