Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Analogue Christian In A Digital World

I ran slides at my church for the first time in their new location this past Sunday. The new set-up has the slide runner and the sound operator and a new technical director in a room over to the left with glass windows.

I wondered what we needed a technical director for, and as it turns out, we've gone high tech. There's now two cameras down front, possibly a third in the back, and the technical director cross cuts between the cameras, and calls out the camera angles during the service. This is because we now have an overflow room in the fellowship hall, for people who can't find room in the sanctuary itself.

We also now have three services, though the overflow room is really only needed for the 10:45am service.

This is how much my church has changed.

And I felt myself getting a little sad. Which is a stupid thing, I know. What's wrong with the church growing, what's wrong with needing to go to three services to accommodate everyone? What's wrong with a bus that takes you from the off site parking lot to the new church location?

I don't have a lot of bad experiences with churches, but there was one that I did, in the early days of this blog. I’m not mentioning names, but their service was maybe the first time I had experienced a high tech glossy service, with video projections, and cross cutting video and dancers, yes, dancers, onstage. Even when I tried to get past that, there were the guest speakers hawking their books or t-shirt in the lobby, the one time they decked out the stage to look like Narnia to celebrate the movie coming out, the endless superficial messages that weren’t about studying the Bible so much as they were taking verses out of context to fit the message they wanted to say.

I left that church with an icky high tech gloss in my mouth.

And now my church, the one I’ve attended faithfully since its inception, is starting to sport some of the high tech trappings. The sermons are still about studying the Bible, so I’m slightly reassured that way. But my hackles are half raised, and I find my own reaction odd.

Maybe I’m just an analogue Christian in a digital community. Maybe I don’t like change initially. Maybe I’m just an ornery Grandma shaking her cane, get off my lawn with your fancy cameras and your cross cutting and your overflow rooms!

We were supposed to show a video about small groups during the middle of the service, and it had worked fine in dress rehearsal, but of course during the first sermon, I punch the button and we have video and no sound. So maybe we’re not so high tech after all. heh.

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