Posted by Phil Loose on 29 June 2015

OK – fair cop. In some small way, I’m part of the problem. I ran a Christian event for 10 years in the wilds of Essex. We had indoor snow machines at Christmas. We had pyros in the worship and - among many other stunts - had goldfish swimming inside glass heads in water that glowed in the dark. And that was before we put a garden pond fountain into the baptismal pit and then lit it with a strobe… And it was all before the days of the internet, so you can’t even blame YouTube for putting the ideas in our heads. 

But for years I’ve been wondering where it will all end up. We already have LED screens time-synced to the loops, in-ear monitors and video projection, click tracks and software programmes serving up full orchestral arrangements and loops to churches of 20. I mean, some churches have more gear than a music shop. Coldplay could genuinely turn up, sit down and do a gig, apart from bringing a big bell to do the opening of Viva La Vida. Oh, hang on – you Anglicans have probably got one of those too…. :-)

So, here are 32 questions I have on all this...

1.     Do I love technology too much?

2.     Is it OK that I want to see more of it because, frankly, it’s brilliant?

3.     But how do I balance all that with the knowledge that I’m not the star?

4.     Do I really know that I’m not?

5.     Am I sure?

6.     Which of us hasn’t ever checked our hair or thought twice about what clothes we’re going to wear before leading?

7.     And which of us have never secretly loved it when people say ‘we love it when you lead’?

8.     [And if the answer to that last one was ‘not me’, are you sure you’re not telling a porky pie?]

9.     Does the way you lead worship rely on the way you present it? 

10.   Does your congregation need all that gubbins to help them to worship?

11.   Do you need a bit more time to answer those last two?

12.   OK. Are you ready now?

13.   Good. So, what if nobody turned up to ‘do’ the PA?

14.   Would the piano even turn on?

15.   And what if nobody thought to stash an accordion as a handy back up?

16.   And what if the video went down and the moving lights went on strike? 

17.   What would be left?

18.   Could you cope?

19.   Would the congregation be OK with nowt but drums? 

18.   But what if it’s not an acoustic kit?

20.   How many people would you be happy to lead with just one acoustic guitar? 

21.   What about your preacher, would they cope? 

23.   Do you believe that it could all be OK? 

24.   Do you see worship as having that kind of power?

25.   Do you and your congregation know that it really is that real?

26.   Does the way that your congregation worships come from the heart? 

27.   What if your tech budget was spent on evangelism?

28.   Scrap that. Can you go back to question 26? 

29.   What would it look like to see technology as a tool rather than a jewel?

30.   What would it mean to have a better balance? 

31.   Sometimes we all need to check our motives, don’t we?

32.   OK. Enough questions. Fancy a coffee? 

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