One Sunday morning recently here at New Calvary Baptist Church, we had some technical problems with our computer. Because of that, we were not able to use PowerPoint for putting the words to our songs and the outline for my sermon up on the wall for everyone to see. For a brief couple of moments, a few of us felt a little bit of panic. Then we put together a quick plan for leading the service without the technological assistance we normally use. When the service started, I welcomed everyone and said this from the pulpit: "Now folks, I do apologize in advance for us having some technical problems today. But here's the good news: When Pentecost broke out in the New Testament times, they didn't have a sound system or PowerPoint and God still moved in a powerful way. So I think He can also move and bless our time together today as well!" Several folks laughed, nodded in agreement, and gave a hearty "Amen!"
Look, I appreciate technology and see what a help it can be. We use it weekly as a tool in our worship times. And I am totally at peace with that. But I think if we're not careful as worshippers in the 21st century, we can fall headfirst into the trap of relying too much on technology and too little on God's Holy Spirit.
In a day and time where churches spend thousands and thousands of dollars on sounds systems, projectors, computer software, smoke machines, and other gadgets, we must remember that we need the presence of the Lord when we gather for worship more than we need anything else. When His Spirt is present and accounted for, meaningful, incredible, mind-blowing, life-changing things can happen. And real powerful worship can take place.
Yes, there is a place for technology in the church. Let's just be careful to keep it in perspective. What matters most of all is that the Holy Spirit is unleashed and moving freely in the room where everyone has gathered. That's the top priority when it's time for worship.
We can have good worship without technology, but we can't have it without the Spirit.