New-Fangled Fellers

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    In response to a post on the "Message Series" thread, I chimed in with the following:

    May we have a respectful dialogue about the use of multimedia in worship services? Let's include the following thoughts:

    </font>
    • How can multi-media add to the worship service?</font>
    • In what way can multimedia be a distraction?</font>
    • At what point are we "crossing the line" and not doing our jobs - substituting whiz-bang technology for honest preaching of the Word?</font>
    From my point of view, multi-media is great for short introductions, possibly slide-shows from visiting missionaries, or even church announcements. I will also display a Bible passage from time to time on the screen.

    I think multi-media can become a distraction when you use too many of the capabilities of the computer - like exciting slide transitions, special effects, and things like that. Once in a while - okay, but to much becomes a distraction. Also, I'm not into "sermon outline" on the screen. That can definetly become distracting (just my opinion).

    I think we cross the line when we rely to much on multi-media (e.g. - long movie clips that make the supposed object lesson the center of attention instead of the Word). When the object lesson becomes the main point (in whatever form it takes: multi-media/story/illustration/etc.) instead of God's Word, we're headed the wrong direction.
     
  2. MRCoon

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    I like the idea of having a Power Point slideshow before and after a service to "advertise" for upcoming events, accouncements, etc.

    I like the use of multimedia for recording services (we do streaming internet video for our services), for presenting missions work, for use in lectures (like Operation Go, New Members Training, etc.), and other teaching opportunities to include Wednesday Bible Study. Though I do not like a Preacher preaching from the pulpit during a Sunday Service with a slide show running behind him IMO it distracts from the message and serves little purpose to just list a Preacher's sermon points.

    When I was an Instructor for Computer & Telephone Systems technicians training (for 4 yrs in the Marine Corps) I was often reminded that technology is a great teaching aid but a poor crutch. ;)
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

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    Powerpoint can be very helpful. We use it for announcements, the music, and for different clips, presentations, mission moments, etc at times.

    One of the downsides I see is that I do not like putting all of the Scripture passages on the screen. I think it encourages people to not bring their Bible to church with them and interact with the text on their own during the message.
     
  4. rbell

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    I use a great deal of multimedia...but remember, my audience is about 150 teenagers each week. Know your audience. Some of the principles I follow:
    -If the transition/effect is noticed, it's probably too much.
    -I use clip art/video/images and the like when it "nails" the point the message makes...I don't strech the message just to use the media.
    -I don't put more than 4-5 lines (usually less) on a screen at one time.
    -I keep it simple when I can. Putting every single outline point on the screen can be distracting, or cause your media person to get lost.
    -If I'm using copyrighted stuff, I get permission.
    -Movies--short, appropriate, and right on with their point, or it isn't used.
    -I keep things readable. What good is media if folks can't see it or make heads or tails out of it? This covers stuff such as font, color, and image/video quality.
    -I never, ever use multimedia unless I've been through the process with the media person. I make sure everything works, and cover my bases. It's irresponsible to do less.

    Finally,
    -I keep the Word central. Media should enhance and make clear what is being said, not distract from it.
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Outstanding point here.
     
  6. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Here in rural Alaska, we still use overhead projectors. (Although, if anyone wants to dontate a PowerPoint projector...) I rarely use it, but I do print out pictures and charts when it's appropriate. Such as trying to explain "tribulus", I used this overhead: Tribulus

    When comparing modern calendars to Jewish calendars, I will use an overhead.

    I don't print out verse lists, unless I am using a lot of verse. If I'm only using 7-8 passages, they turn to them all. However, occasionally I will present a lesson that will have a lot of verses, and sometimes even 3-4 in a row comparing them, and I will print out a list so that it doesn't become a distraction.
     
  7. dh1948

    dh1948
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    For the past five years I have used PPT for pre-service announcements. I seldom make an announcement from the pulpit. I also use PPT for the main points in my sermons. Sometime, but not often, I will use it for a scripture or portion of a scripture. Backgrounds are usually simple, though at times I use backgrounds that are relevant to the subject. Ninety percent of our music is on PPT. We have recently added a projector for the wall the choir faces. It enables the people in the choir to not be so dependent on books or sheet music as they sing. In the five years of using PPT, I have never heard one complaint.

    It is my opinion that it in no way distracts from the message.
     
  8. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    We use every method we can to communicate the unchanging truth of God. If it does not violate a biblical principle, we just might use it.

    This Sunday we will use a MTV-type music video, an aerial dance, an intro clip of street interviews about Easter, and creative video elements throughout the message to further communicate the truth that the resurrected Christ can revolutionize your life.

    Statistics show that people remember what they see and hear far more than simply what they hear.

    Our rule of thumb for video use: it must engage the hearer and it must enhance the message and not take away from what we want to communicate.

    And yes I am one of those "new-fangled fellars" who loves to use technology in a way that points people to Jesus Christ.

    And yes we put all of our Scripture on the screen because about 40% of the people in our audience on an average Sunday are unbelievers and do not bring a Bible to church and may not even own a Bible. And to be honest with you, I don't care if people bring a Bible to church or not. What I do care about is teaching them to fall in love with the author of the Bible and to learn to read and study their Bible at home. I know multitudes of people who bring their Bible to church and never pick it up again until the next Sunday. Bringing your Bible to church has NOTHING to do with your level of spirituality.
     
  9. dh1948

    dh1948
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    Amen! Preach it, brother!!
     
  10. TomVols

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    While bringing a Bible to church doesn't show spirituality, you're actually making the point. Christians on the whole are Biblically illiterate. We need to be getting people into the Word, not away from it. Whether or not PPP does that is up for debate. I like to use pew Bibles and do page numbers (I like the sound of rustling pages) [​IMG] I have encouraged people to take pew Bibles, so long as they'll use them. People need to see Scripture in context and learn the Scriptures. We need more Bereans. PPP may help with that. Maybe it doesn't. I want people to have an understandable, accurate copy of God's Word in their hands and in their hearts. It can't get in their hearts unless it's in their hands [​IMG]
     
  11. All about Grace

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    Obviously we don't discourage people from bringing Bibles. And we definitely encourage them to bring them to small groups - our primary environment for in-depth Bible studies.

    But we also recognize the reality in our situation of dealing with non-believers and new Christians - more than likely they will not bring a Bible to church.
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

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    I agree.

    And while bringing or not bringing a Bible to church may not be a mark of spirituality, I have never personally met someone that did not bring a Bible with them to church that was growing in their walk with the Lord. I am not saying it does not happen, just I have not personally witnessed it.
     
  13. Hope of Glory

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    I have a friend of mine who was in Philadelphia and was looking for a church on Sunday morning. He was actually stopped at the door and told that he could not bring "that" (referring to the Bible he was carrying) in, as it would be disruptive. That was many years ago.

    More recently, a local church lost several members when they tried the same thing while doing the Purpose Driven thing. "Don't bring that in here! It will detract from the true message!"
     
  14. Tom Bryant

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    We use pp for preservice announcements and then for words to the music in our praise and worship service. We use the hymn book for our traditional service.
    I also use it for the messages for major points and some scriptures that go along with the sermon notes.
     
  15. All about Grace

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    As you said, you have simply not witnessed it personally. It does happen.

    When I was ministering in the Bible belt, it was a big deal to bring your Bible to church and I regularly faced people who insisted people needed to bring their Bibles to church - to "look at" the Word of God as it was being read. What I tried to communicate to them was that the Bible is the Word of God whether it is in a leather bound book or on a screen or simply being read.

    Again - I do not discourage people from bringing a Bible to church and I have also noticed that as a new Christian grows - they normally begin to bring their Bible to church. But neither do I believe for one second that just because a person brings a Bible to church that they are growing in their faith or studying their Bible throughout the week.
     
  16. shannonL

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    The use or non use of multia-media has nothing to do with how effective you will be in reaching people for Christ. It is merely a method.

    Like I said in another post. There is alot of staff salary that could be done away with and given to missions if we didn't think we had to put on a show every Sunday instead of just preaching the Word.

    I haven't seen one yet but I bet there is one out there. That is some church is bound to have a pastor or choreography.

    AAg, if seeker sensitive style churches are doing such a bang up job with reaching the 21st. century,post-modern what have you lost person then where is the proof.

    I read somewhere the other day that the mega churches in this country have grown to number into the several 100's mega being 2000 or more on a given Sunday.

    Mega ch. #'s are up but where is the "transformation" and "community" all of those that are supposed to be so "in the know" are talking about?

    Where is the impact upon society and our culture as a whole from the CGM, PDL, willowcreek philosophy of doing ministry?

    In the days of the Great Awakening the movement of God the Holy Spirit was evidenced very plainly by the transformation of whole towns and regions.
    Where is that today? You don't see it?

    AAG, if for some reason your church for some unknown reason was to have to make do without all the media for lets say 2mos. do you think you would retain the #'s you have now?
    If the answer is no then I ask you what is keeping the people's interest? Is it the Word or all the extra's?

    I'm not saying this is your thoughts but what is troubling to me is the fact that whether some realize it or not when we make the claim that we just can't be as effective without dance, drama, video clips etc... what we are really saying is
    the Word of God cannot stand on its own.
    I believe that is the case.
    Yes the culture is more technological sure. People's attention spans are shorter I suppose?
    Yet the two facts remain the same. Man and his sinful nature along with his fleshly lusts are just as they were the day Adam and Eve first sinned. The other fact is that the Word of God is still the final say.
    I mean the way some of you new fangled fellers talk you would think that human beings in the last 10 years have so radically changed in their perceptions,emotions,their make up etc.. that we just have to scrap everything that wasn't thought of 5min. ago. You want to know where this "everything has got to change all the time" crap has gotten the evangelical church? Well what it has produced is men like Brian McClaren, Rob Bell and other heretical boobs that have thrown the Bible out the window and are reexamining everything? This generic positive only, wussy preaching as paved the way for people to be more accepting of pure trash like the emergent church, books like the Davinci Code, the Gnostic Gospels, etc... In a underlying way over the years guys like RW, Robert schuller , Bill Hybels, these guys have indirectly helped to pave that broad road to heresy even if they werent themselves all because they fail to present the Gospel fully. In turn all there are alot of young pastors out there who are lending their hand to that mess as well by following everything some CGM dude puts in a book.
    Men haven't changed so much in the last 20 years that preaching the Word with a hollywood production is what it takes to meet man's one and only real need and that is the need for a Savior.
     
  17. All about Grace

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    I can't speak for everyone, but for us transformation is seen in the individual stories of everyday people whose lives have been revolutionized by his grace. I just got an e-mail yesterday from a lady who has never stepped foot in an evangelical church before coming to our church. She was a Mormon. She came and over the course of a few weeks and participation in a small group, God has transformed her life. She crossed the line of faith and became a believer weekend before last and will be baptized at our next celebration. She represents just one of many whose lives are being transformed. For us transformation is seen primarily in individual life stories.

    As far as towns & cities being changed, I believe they are in their own way. For one, during the days of the Great Awakening, there were no cities of 5-15 million people. A few changed lives resulted in the transformation of an entire city because communities were only composed of a few thousand people at the most.

    Again I can't speak for everyone, but God is transforming our city in His own way through the transformation of individuals. If you were to remove the believers from our metro area, you would witness just what a difference believers do make.

    I don't pretend "mega" or "seeker" or "purpose-driven" or any other type of church is the cure-all for changing an entire nation. What I do know is that God has called us to be missional in our community and take the unchanging message of Jesus Christ to an ever changing culture. The way that we do this in our community will differ from how you do it where you are. But the bottom line is that we have an obligation to the God we serve and the people we are trying to reach to present that message in the most effective method we can. To do any less would be an insult to the creative God of this universe and the most exciting news in the world.

    This line of reasoning is dumb. What would happen if you had church with no lights, seats, A/C, parking lot, etc. Do you think the same amount of people would show up for 2 months? What if you did nothing but read straight from a Greek NT or Hebrew OT for 2 months? Methods are methods for a reason.

    Methods are important. That's why EVERY church uses them. Just because we choose methods more appropriate for our culture and context does not make them any less "right" than the ones you use. Again it is an insult to God and those we are trying to reach to settle for anything less than the very best we can offer to our community.

    Would you be willing to simply read a Greek NT or Hebrew OT for 2 consecutive months? If not, why? The Word of God cannot stand on its own?

    Upon this we can agree, humanity's greatest need is a Savior. For this reason, we do everything we can to share Christ in a way that will engage the heart and mind of the hearer. Ultimately God draws, but we will not fall short in our responsibility to proclaim His news in the same manner as Paul -- all things to all men.
     
  18. shannonL

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    My reasoning is not dumb. I'm simply asking you if push come to shove and you had to give up the high tech gadgets and drama etc... would you maintain the number of people you have coming?

    Who qualifies that offering people drama,dance movie clips etc... as the very best we can offer our community? Says who. The best compared to what?

    How does the persecuted church make it without all these media essentials?
    How does the underground church in china worship without all the bells and whistles?

    What if one day it is against the law to openly worship in this country? Will the "church lite" crowd be grounded enough to handle it?
     
  19. All about Grace

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    I noticed you did not answer the question ... would you maintain the same crowd without comfortable seats, A/C, and lights? These are all methodological additions of recent decades.

    And what is wrong with attracting a crowd to hear the gospel? Of course if we did not try and get people to come hear the gospel we would not attract the same crowd. There are thousands of churches that prove this point. That has nothing to do with our goal of doing what we can to get people to hear the gospel without compromising the gospel itself. You act like it is a negative thing to get large crowds to come to church and hear the gospel.

    I can't speak for your community. That is your responsibilty and calling as a missionary to the culture where God has placed you.

    Again I am not talking about other cultures and situations. They are called to be missionaries in their own context. These situations reinforce my point.

    I'm not sure who the "church lite" crowd is and how they will respond but that does not change the fact God still calls us to take His message into our culture.

    I noticed you also ignored the question regarding your willingness to simply have the Greek NT or Hebrew OT read for 2 consective months. Do you believe the Word of God can stand on its own?
     
  20. rbell

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    It is not my place, as a minister who utilizes multimedia, to look at another minister and say, "You're behind the times. You're not reaching folks. Get in today's world!"

    It is not another's place, as a minister who does not utilize multimedia, to look at me and say, "You're all about gimmicks. You're not preaching the meat of the word. You're fluff!"

    God's big enough to use both.
     

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