This week I’m privileged to be a part of the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City, KS, put on by Worship Leader Magazine. The week kicked off with a pre-conference seminar on the topic of “Stewards of Technology in the Service of Worship”. It really was a very interesting 4 hours, filled not just with a boatload of practical tips, resources and ideas, but also a challenge to really think about the whys in what we do with technology.
The seminar was led by Chuck Fromm, Publisher of Worship Leader magazine, DJ Chaung, Network Developer at WL Magazine and other guests, including Dr. Mark D. Roberts and our very own Ben Abu Saada, co-host of the All About Worship Podcast.
There were so many great thoughts that came out of this, but I thought I would just share a few. Dr. Roberts asked the question “How do I exercise my stewardship of technology in a worshiping community”. He really challenged us to focus on three main areas of our job as a tech steward. We are to think critically, biblically, and spiritually about each new technology we would like to add. Technology is both good and bad, Roberts said. We’re also to ask questions, such as why are we doing this, what are the benefits, and other theological and psychological questions in regards to how we should be involved. Finally, we’re to pray about how God would want us to use technology in worship. It was a good reminder that just because we can, doesn’t mean we should, in every circumstance.
Both Dr. Roberts and Chuck Fromm did a great job of helping us look critically at the use of technology in worship. It’s so easy to just add this new feature, or add this new avenue of communication, just because it’s out there, and the latest thing. While it may be a good thing, is it really helping us do a better job of being the Body of Christ, or is it just cool?
DJ Chaung is the network developer at Worship Leader Magazine, and he gave us some very practical ideas on how we can use technology in a worship setting. He gave a great presentation, and wanted everyone to make sure to know that his presentation is available at the website for this event, which is http://www.techsteward.net/ You can actually find the slides and presentations for all the speakers from this morning’s event at this site. You should definitely check it out!!
DJ explained how he defines a tech steward, and after hearing his explanation, I think a lot of us might identify ourselves as one! A Tech Steward is involved in four different areas in the church: researching, selecting which social media tool to use for your church, coordinating and training. Researching involves knowing your community, knowing technology, and knowing the Bible. He said that we need to research and know our own community because every community has a way of communicating that will work best with them. We can’t assume that just because Facebook works with one church, it will work in every church. He also said a tech steward should be resourceful, trustworthy, optimistic and open to new concepts.
Following that, the morning ended with a panel discussion with all the speakers. Ben Abu Saada joined the panel and fielded some questions from the audience (even ones sent in via text message or Twitter during the workshop, of course…) Ben did a great job, and explained what tools his church uses to reach his community.
I would really encourage you to check out the Tech Steward website for all the notes from today’s workshop. I’d also love to hear your comments on this topic. Let’s share ideas of how you use technology in your churches!
All About Worship