In class today we had lively discussion about technology's role in preaching. One student, a youth pastor, (very gifted in creating short movies), reflected on how churches have changed perceptions of technology over the last ten years. From being dazzled that a preacher was actually using power-point and video clips, hearers now focus more on substance. The wow factor has gone, and the quality question is now being asked! He claimed that technology is particularly "embedded" in young people's experience so that they take it for granted, and look through it for content.
Overall, the class believed that preachers should use technology, especially when others (in teams) can help develop content for Sunday worship, But, they warned...
- using powerpoint to throw yet more words at the congregation, rather complement words by images;
- allowing powerful movie clips to overshadow preachers' words;
- becoming predictable by e.g. using a movie clip every Sunday;
- devoting more time to technology style than biblical content;
- thinking slick technology can compensate for sloppy preaching.
Calling preachers and listeners: Have you had good experiences of preaching and technology, or would you add to these warnings?