Twenty-five years ago, the film Tron was a revolution - the first movie to use digital animation extensively. But critics almost universally panned the movie. One said, "Tron is loaded with visual delights but falls way short of the mark in story and viewer involvement."
How can preachers avoid that same trap? With our increasing ability to produce "visual delights," can we forget what matters most? How can we use technology to help, not hinder, the proclamation of God's Word? At the most recent National Pastors Convention, we brought together three pastors to discuss these questions. Below is an excerpt from the conversation. You can find the full interview on Leadership's website.
How important is it to use 21st-century technology when communicating the gospel in the 21st century?
Shane Hipps: It's important only if we understand their innate bias, because media are not neutral tools. The media are messages in themselves, and every single medium you use carries a different message embedded in it.
I occasionally use visual media and technology as a crutch to help keep what I'm saying interesting. But when an 80-year-old woman who lived through the Great Depression stood up in my congregation and told a story, she didn't use any technology, and everyone was on the edge of their seats listening to her suffering and what she lived through.
As the medium, she was infinitely more powerful than any technology I could bring.
John Palmieri: I agree, to a point. Trying to more media-savvy than the world around us - that is a battle we will lose. And if I'm just trying to be "relevant," I'll probably miss the mark every time.
But it is our responsibility to be resourceful and creative. If some technology is effective for communication, ...