Screens and the Church
I have a love/hate relationship with technology. There probably is not a week that goes by that I do not resolve to get rid of my IPhone and TVs. I usually think about this while I am scrolling through my social media threads with a football game on TV. I do take breaks from both things and I am always glad for when I do. I think taking a break from technology such as phones, TVs and lap tops is good for one’s soul. One of the things we Christians do is order our lives in such way that we honor Christ in all things. That is, we set aside time for the Word, for prayer, for family and for church. We are disciplined about these things and place a high priority on them. As such we must be disciplined in how we use technology and mindful of our consumption of social media.
A few years ago, we had a discussion at the church about incorporating a welcome screen into our lobby. It would scroll through upcoming events, show pictures kind of like you see at the grocery store. I was all about it. Now I’ve changed my mind. Here is why: when I think of church I think of rest. The church is the place where Christians come to rest in their savior after a long week of falling short and messing up. “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden...” our Lord Christ bids us. So, one of the things we Christians need to rest from is screens: TV screens, IPhone screens, advertising screens, scoreboard screens. To walk into a church and be bombarded by more screens seems to me to be inviting more of the world into the church.
(A screen-less church below)
Salem is an old church. Our sanctuary and nave have no screens and very little technology, save for a sound system that’s over twenty years old. We still use hymnal books. We still use a hymnal board with wooden letters and numbers that were installed in 1901. The wooden pews go back to that time as well. There is something refreshing about this. It is rest from “out there.”
For those churches that all about the technology, streaming, cameras and screens I wish you all the best. I’ll take my small non-technological church anytime. It’s where the Word is given, the Sacraments are administered according to the gospel and it’s where rest and peace is found in Christ just as He promsied.
Well enough for today. I’ve got football to watch and Facebook to scroll through.