Technology is here to stay. And it will only grow more prevalent as time goes by. At what point does the use of technology morph the worship service into something else? Is a movie theater more sacred than the house of worship?
My local theater has a new “Silence Your Cell Phones” announcement.
It states that you came to the theater to enjoy what is on the big screen. And you should not allow the little screen on your cell phone to make you forget what you came to see on the big screen. This is not the time for selfies, text messages, or social media. It is time to drink a cola, eat a tub of popcorn, and enjoy the happenings on the big screen in front of you.
Movies are for entertainment. It may be a comedy, drama, horror, historical, adventure, fantasy, or action flick. But the goal is that you leave the theater entertained. Yet theaters feel what is happening on the screen is important enough to ask you to stay off your phones while the moving is playing.
Is this too much to ask when you go to church to publicly and corporately worship the Lord Jesus Christ?
Our cell phones and tablets constantly add useful functions. As a result, some do not feel the need to come to church with anything but an iPad. Their Bibles and journals for note-taking are on the tablet. And they don’t need an envelope anymore. They can give an offering through their cell phone.
The apps on our devices make life so much easier. But they make worship more difficult. Cells and tablets distract you from the truth, fellowship, and service that should characterize corporate worship.
Social media is a great way to connect with family and friends. We instinctively share with our friends and followers things that catch our interest throughout the day. And this instinct naturally continues when we are in corporate worship. As we are blessed in worship, we immediately share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. If something silly happens in worship, we do the same.
Is this a good thing?