Home Worship & Creative Leaders Articles for Worship & Creative What if the “Big Show” Wasn’t God’s Idea?

What if the “Big Show” Wasn’t God’s Idea?

Digital technology is becoming a more and more visible part of Church gatherings. This is most apparent in the States, but is becoming increasingly so in the UK, too.

Having been part of a lot of large Christian conferences, I’ve seen incredible usage of screens, lights, and film.

On many levels, it seems to deepen our ability to worship corporately – it enables everyone to see the song lyrics, even from far, far away. We don’t need to hold hymnbooks or paper sheets anymore.

However, when our Christian events begin to look more and more like rock concerts, it’s probably worth us stepping back and asking a few questions.

Humor me for a moment. Picture the average pop or rock concert.

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Bright lights.

Big stage.

People on stage, being stared at by an audience facing them.

Big screens.

Loud PA systems.

All the money it costs to buy all of that high-tech gear.

And the money it costs to have people to operate them.

That picture is a portrait of many, many churches across the globe. Eerily a mirror image of the rock concert.

Having stood on those kinds of stages for over 15 years, I find myself stepping back and asking is this helping people with their spirituality or not? Is it helping me or not?

Why do we model our churches on the concert industry?

Why are so much of our church budgets going to expensive state of the art sound systems, lights, and screens?

What good is this doing and what harm?

Are we simply copying culture in a quest to be ‘relevant’?

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Vicky is fascinated by the interaction between technology and spirituality. She has always been a geek since childhood and nothing has changed in that department. With a BA and MA from Oxford, she trained as a management consultant, then spent eight years in the USA working in the music industry for major label EMI. Vicky now resides in the UK again and is the Director of CyberSoul Consultancy. She is also studying for a PhD in Moral Philosophy, focusing on the ethics of the internet.