Monday, July 6, 2009

Addicted to Projection?

What follows is from a sermon/article:

8 Ways to Help Your Congregation Fall in Love with the Bible

John D. Barry
Editor-in-Chief, Bible Study Magazine » Logos Bible Software »

3. Forget to Prepare a PowerPoint

Disconnecting from the Bible is easy when you don't have to open one. In our effort to be hip, we can distract people from the Bible with multimedia. When used poorly, PowerPoints can make the sermon feel like a show rather than a learning opportunity. I am not suggesting we stop using multimedia—I believe it is a powerful tool for keeping people's attention and illustrating points. But I do suggest you skip it for a week or two and crack open the Bible at your pulpit instead. The Bible will only be understood as a page turner if we turn its pages.

Imagine that instead of you reading the chosen passage for a week, you asked the congregation to read it aloud or to themselves. It may not work the first week, but people will certainly remember to bring their Bibles the next week. This is multi-sensory preaching—you are not just engaging their eyes and ears; you are engaging their sense of touch. When people physically explore the Bible using multiple senses, they continue to think about it when they leave, and they will probably pick it up again during the week.

Kent Comments:

This whole article is worth reading – this is just a small section.  Notice that this advice comes from a Bible software editor.  So you can’t complain that he is just some anti-technology dude.

This whole matter is related to the musical point I made in an earlier blog entry.  There is a clear and present danger that technology can grow out-of-control in the church assembly and change it into a show.

When everything is projected, as Barry points out, we can end up decreasing the number of senses people use in our church meetings.  He is quite right – there is great value in people thumbing around and through the printed pages of Bibles.

For people new to the church, it is like a guided tour through the scriptures.  On the way to a passage in Isaiah, people will pass other books of the Bible.  They might become curious.  On the way to find the little NT book of James, people might notice Hebrews.  And notice this:  a projected scripture text cannot be in context.  When people turn to a passage in a Bible, the whole context is available if they need to check it.

Some of the same can be said of always projecting words of songs onto a screen.  People never see musical notation at church meetings – just words.  They never see the notation for various parts, and thus there is not much help for harmony singing.  Just viewing the musical notation repeatedly, as happens when we look at traditional church song books, can help people begin to see how musical notation works.  We miss all that with the way most churches now use – perhaps overuse or misuse – projection technology.

I am not opposed to projecting material for sermons, singing, and so forth.  But it seems to have become an unwritten law in many congregations that everything, always, must be projected, in spite of the fact that there are these obvious problems with projection.  That law is stupid, and it ought to be repealed.

If your congregation thinks it just couldn’t live without its projector, perhaps it has a technology addiction problem.  It is one thing to use technology – it is another for technology to use us.

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