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Using electronic media in worship

"What a gimmick, Mel," jibed my friend-critic-fellow pastor, "using all that electronic media in worship. No wonder your crowd is growing."

I bit my tongue. How often I had heard that good-natured questioning of my liturgical methods and motives. "Just show biz," he might have added. Or worse, "Just an easy way to keep from preparing a sermon."

Wrong on both counts. My motive for using electronic media in worship is the same as for every hymn, prayer, or sermon: to lift up Christ and draw his people one step closer to him and to each other. And the method is not a short cut. It is time-consuming and risky. (And never have I eliminated the sermon with media, only supplemented and supported it.) When you spend valuable time, energy, and money to integrate a one-minute film clip only to have an usher trip on the plug mid-screening and plunge the church into darkness, or when the slide bearing the words to the morning anthem pops on upside-down, you wonder if using media is worth the impugning ...

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