Welcome to the 21st Century

I have a confession….

I like computers.

Hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem right?

Well….  I wouldn’t say that my liking of computers is even close to a problem.  I can’t fix and trouble shoot everything, I know NOTHING about code or webpage building, but I would say that I am generally pretty good with computers.  I can use them, and manage some simple maintenance as well as figure out why you’re projector isn’t projecting quite what you had planned on it showing.

Though, I’m not one to geek out over something I thought was super cool, last night I might have had a geek moment.

Last Thursday, thanks to the wonder that is Google+, we in L’viv, Ukraine were able to have David and Shannon (in Texas) preach, while we were simultaneously live streaming the service and recording.  That may not seem like a lot, but dude come on, that’s freaking AWESOME!

Over the course of the broadcast 28 people (we’re famous!) tuned in from all over.  We were all blessed by the touching message and memories shared by David and Shannon as they said their goodbye to the community that they had nurtured for years.  The love in the room for this family was so tangible, and we were all touched.

Technology is an amazing thing.

A couple of months ago, my father had a kidney transplant, and I was able to skype into the waiting room.  When my sister was serving our country in Afghanistan, she got to skype into holidays and was also able to help me pick out an outfit for a friend’s wedding.

It’s really super cool.

The internet saves us all kinds time and money (or if you’re really into amazon you spend all your money online) and gives us so much convenience and knowledge at our fingertips.  More and more companies (like GBHEM) are using technology for meetings not only because it saves time, keeps folks from having to travel, but it also saves a TON of money and enables lots of folks to be able to attend.

As much as I LOVE technology and what it does for my everyday life, I have to say that though it is so convenient I think that with meetings and worship services it can deprive us of one really big thing– anointing.

In Gungor’s book, The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse Wolfjaw a “ganja-loving blues singer” says,

“It’s like all of this positive electricity firing in your brain and then when you extend that energy into the room with the strumming for a guitar or by singing, and even more so when you amplify it through a sound system, that energy only gets magnified and it just sends all that anointing into the room.  You know?”

He goes on to say in a rant about pro-tools,

“Also, in Pro Tools, you are turning music into ones and zeroes.  You lose the anointing with that as well.  When you record to analog tape, it’s actually physical grooves that you are creating.  There’s a natural degradation in the energy — it’s not this simulated, digital shit that totally loses the anointing.”

When was the last time you were in a GoToMeeting, and you turned your camera off to do some ‘real work’ or paint your fingernails or something?  Seriously, in person that would be the rudest thing in the world, but if the other party is none the wiser, who does it hurt?

Every time during David’s sermon that I had to interrupt him for a technical difficulty, or the image was unclear, I felt like I was killing the energy.  Almost physically killing the Holy Spirit by saying, oh no we need new speakers or hold on just a minute we can’t hear you.  Now that’s not to say that the big HS wasn’t still hanging in there, and that there wasn’t something seriously powerful and moving happening, but I can only imagine what that service would have been like in person; not only for us, but for David, Shannon, and the other 28 people watching.

There is something great that happens when people gather together.  It starts fires–especially if you just finished your trig final– and ideas bounce off of one another.  Preachers, musicians, presenters, speakers, and just about everyone else feed off of the energy of the room.

My computer screen can’t give me the same experience.  Though my computer is, and may always be, my tether to my family, friends, and outside world, we all need to remember that should we let this become the norm, we are going to be forfeiting some of the most amazing realer moments in life.

So yes, please let’s skype soon because I live a million miles away, but when I get home, can we get coffee together?  Yes, I would LOVE to skype into worship on Sunday, but I can’t wait till I’m home and can feel what you feel, hear and see and smell what you smell, and receive the anointing that happens when we gather as a body.

For those who might have missed the service with David and Shannon, enjoy.  Note that this footage has not been edited because, I’m lazy.  Also because I got almost all the way done editing it (took me 2 hours) and then all the sudden the software crashed and I hadn’t saved…..  rookie mistake.


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2 thoughts on “Welcome to the 21st Century

  1. Erica, I really love this blog post.

    I love technology, and without it I wouldn’t be able to speak with my fiancee as often as I do, but somehow trying to move technology further into the Church seems strange, and if they tried to make it routine at my church (simulcasting and the like) I think I would reject it.

    That being said, have you considered having your speakers do a podcast instead of doing the sermon live? I know the technical problems you must be facing, so I was just curious.

    Brandon

    • Hey Brandon,

      Podcasts are fabulous, and for another affair we certainly would have considered it, however as it was David and Shannon’s kind of final farewell, we want folks to be able to interact with David and Shannon. Furthermore, we had to have a translator for it, and that’s hard with a podcast.

      Surprisingly the technical difficulties were few. The speakers we were using crapped out on us and there was a moment that we couldn’t hear David, but aside from that it really did work out quite well.

      For us this time, it was the best option, but in the future who knows? And we don’t often have this sort of set up, but it has opened the door (now that we know we can do it) to the potential of this being an option more frequently in the future. We shall see!

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