Understanding These Tech-y Times

The adolescent community and those who lead them in ministry appreciate and celebrate technology. Often times it is the appreciation of new technology that creates a special bond between the music ministry and student ministry. Teen culture championed technology but 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.

Youth and Technology

The first projection unit I acquired was in 1986. A re-purposed overhead mounted projector from a defunct PanAm aircraft thrilled us. The unit cost $6000 and could be focused only at 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. They were only 1/5 the size with major resolution improvements. Soon we would embrace 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 linear 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 software could not only edit but retain a digital copy – wow! From the mobile bag-phone that cost $2 per minute to the excitement of the Palm 100 PDA the trend continues. Imagine youth group games using an affordable pair of google glasses and 3D printing promotional items.

Embrace the Tech-y Stuff

Yes, embrace the technology of the day. However, remember you don’t have to have the latest tech toy to impresses 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)