The Christan Post put up an excellent article concerning the use of technology with churches today.
Apparently 62-odd percent of Christan churches now have a big-screen monitor at the front of the church....for slides, graphics, and video. Analysis has now shown that the more liberal the church....the less likely they will have the big-screen (twenty-point difference). Almost the same percentage has a web site associated with the church. Almost half of the big churches, have pod casts available.
I sat there and pondered upon this trend. What would Jesus have used for technology? I doubt if he would have used any. The mesage outweighs the merit of technology. If you have the right message, then technology isn't going double the impression of it upon folks.
I will readily admit....if I was attending a church and the minister whipped out a PowerPoint presentation.....I'd be the first guy out of the pew and the first to exit the church. I think its highly impractical and down-right wrong to give a sermon in such a manner.
I myself, am a PowerPoint "Warrior" and can make a presenation that will make you weep by th end. But I am a huge believer in the speaker carrying the message to the crowd. I came to this point in life when a projection system failed at a briefing a number of years ago, and I had to give the presentation without any aids. My emphasis and movement around the podium carried enough of the weight. At the conclusion....I was told by two or three folks in the audience that it was one of the better presentations they'd seen, and more impressive without the graphics.
I sat there after that briefing.....thinking of Lincoln, Plato, Socrates, and Hitler (sadly enough). All four accomplished huge feats in great speaking.....without graphics or PowerPoint or technology. Their messages carried onto the audience. I have come to strongly believe in a speaker building a message of simplicity and simply practicing the message enough to give a good act.
So, if your church has got $5000 to spend....and they start talking about a 60 inch plasma screen TV.....ask if it'd be wiser to buy some playground equipment for kids in the backyard of the church or maybe spend it on some youth dinner or maybe just send the Minister and his wife to New Orleans for some sin and lust. There are better things to spend the money on.