Technology has always been appreciated and celebrated by the adolescent community as well as those who lead them in ministry. Often times it is the appreciation of new technology that creates a special bond between the music ministry and student ministry. While new technology is greatly championed by teen culture, the life-span of an electronic item seems to get shorter each year. My first ministry electronics purchase was a VHS player that would connect to our 300lb youth room TV. The first projection unit I acquired was in 1986. We were thrilled to have a re-purposed overhead mounted projector from a defunct PanAm aircraft. The unit cost $6000 and could be focused only at 4, 8 and 12 foot increments after lining up the color grids. It was an incredible piece of equipment and one-of-a kind among the Panama City Florida church community. In a few short years we saw projection units shrink into portables models only 1/5 the size with major resolution improvements. Soon we would embraced the emerging technology of cassette tapes, V8mm, and Hi8 recording. Personal recording and duplication gave rise to youth music libraries. By 1988 we were training interns and students how to shoot and edit video with our youth editing suite. When the AG 1970 linier editing decks gave way to the new AG1980 decks we had to have a pair. In a few short years we would swap our $1,700 editing decks for $300 computer software that could not only edit but retain a digital copy – wow! From the mobile bag-phone that cost $2 per minute to use to the excitement of the Palm 100 PDA (personal digital assistant) to the windows operating system the trend continues. Imagine youth group games using an affordable pair of google glasses or hologram imagining your student band and 3D printing promotional items. Yes, embrace the technology of the day. In fact, lead the pack if you want to but remember, you don’t have to have the latest tech toy to impresses local tribal leaders. You do however, need to stay current, as in . . . what your college age volunteer Geek Squad thinks is current. Any technology that helps communicate the Gospel message, your ministry vision, and ministry event information can be a blessing and well worth the effort and cost to remain relevant. Conversely, if you are spending an inordinate amount of time tinkering with and trying out the newest release, then maybe you should back the throttle down a bit and rethink the benefit and priority of relational ministry. Know the times in which you live and exercise wisdom towards the vast availability and access to the electronic “things” and “stuff” at your disposal.
“And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” (1 Chronicles 12:32)
“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)