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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Technology Revolution is Here!

I was raised in a very rigid church. It's standards were high and it's pews were mostly empty.  It viewed progressing as watering down your beliefs to suit the world.  When my husband and I began going to our current church, it was a welcomed relief from the church of my childhood. I'm grateful for my spiritual past, but I believe in order to reach others, we have to be relevant to the present. Our church is constantly looking for new ways to stay relevant.  A church that isn't growing and changing, is a church that is dying.  The bad thing about change, is sometimes it's hard to wrap your mind around. I think that is especially true the older you get.  It's easy to stay with the familiar and let the comfort of the usual wrap around you like a warm blanket until you have been lulled into a sound sleep like an infant. Our church doesn't give you that opportunity. We are moving, growing, building, changing, evolving and even when that is a difficult thing, it's a good thing. This morning I walked into the lobby of the church and got ready to take my place at the welcome desk. A mammoth monstrosity stood across the desk.  At first I couldn't make
out what "the thing" was (it looked like the monolith from 2001 Space Odyssey), but when I got closer I realized it was a ATM giving machine (mainly because it said giving on the outside). I just had to laugh, because it made me feel so dated, yet it made perfect sense. Neither of my oldest children use checks, or cash for that matter. All of their purchases are made with debit cards. So it makes perfect sense to have an ATM giving machine in the church lobby so the younger people will be able to give in the way that they are comfortable with. I was talking to a gentleman at church about the machine. He was from a similar background as me. I made that statement that my old church would have never had an ATM machine in the building because they would say that is was a mark of the beast, or just plain evil. When I said that he died laughing because he could relate to that type of thinking. It was a reveiling Sunday for me. I took pictures of the ATM machine and settled into my place behind the desk.  Before Sunday School began a gentleman came up to the desk and asked if I knew the Wi-Fi password so he could download his bible onto his tablet.  I can relate to that because I love using my Kindle (or did until I got a phone that doesn't support the software).  Then a woman asked me for my email address so she could email me the minutes of the last mission meeting. We're so current, so with-it, so hip, it's just weird. We're not as current as some churches. The church my son goes to has serve your self communion tables set up (something about that is just hysterical to me, in a very reverent way of course). Our church originated from a small town of 1,500-2,000 people. We probably run close to 800 or so on Sunday mornings. The reason we've continued to grow, is because we've continued to reach out to others in a way in which they can relate. I know for a fact that change is difficult.  Sometimes change is like a dull ache in the very core of your bones, much like when you were growing up... But it has to happen.  I'm officially seeing a time in the future where I can tell my grandchildren the old time stories of passing an actual offering plate and carrying a Bible to church that was in book form.  These stories makes me feel so..... OLD!! One thing I'll be add to make the stories more tolerable is I did these things back then in really cute shoes.  A little embellishment makes the whole thing easier to swallow :-)

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