As we're planning for our relaunch in September, we're researching the purchases that need to be made that we put off in year one of Echo. The most expensive ones, obviously, are the audio and video purchases that will get our worship area where we'd like it to be. Churches can spend enormous amounts on these "technological needs." Recently I read where one unnamed "super megachurch" has a million dollar a year budget for their A/V stuff. I also came across a church planter's blog last week where he presented how desperately they needed to purchase a $75,000 sound system. It seems as if our churches are practically worshipping technology. Here's a quote I read in a pastor's blog about a service they had this weekend:
"Our Saturday Night service was a technological meltdown . . . Some of our computer files got corrupted so we sang without words on the screen. We barely pulled off our movie clips. And our high-def camera wasn't working until the very last second. Pretty chaotic!"
Fortunately, someone laid hands on the equipment and everything turned out OK.
"Yikes," I say.
Total we've spent on A/V stuff since starting Echo: $0.
We borrowed both a projector and a portable sound system from Impact Church.
Total budgeted that we're going to try to spend on equipment for our relaunch: $10,000.
Yes, that's a large chunk of change, but it's rather westside [cheap] by today's new church standards. In our defense, the video projector allows us to get by without hymnals and song sheets, saving trees and making us environmental conscience [we're such a hippie church]. And the sound system will guarantee that people will be able to hear clearly all that happens in our gatherings. We're going to get by with as little as we can because we believe there are better places to invest church funds. I'm all for technology, but churches have to set appropriate boundaries for how far we're willing to go to be a culturally relevant, tech savvy church.
It's absolutely amazing that the church was able to flourish the 1900 years without electricity. No wonder they were called the Dark Ages. Powerpoint must've come during the Enlightenment.
But I believe the Bible confirms that the first century church couldn't have done it without the Holy Spirit and high-def cameras.