Archive for Saturday, October 10, 2009

Faith Forum: How do you utilize technology in your services?

October 10, 2009


Multimedia good tool for worship

Doug Heacock, contemporary worship leader and director of media and communications, Lawrence Free Methodist Church, 3001 Lawrence Ave.:

As a lifelong nerd and gearhead, I am blessed to serve a church that has chosen to embrace technology and harness a variety of tools for ministry purposes, particularly in the context of our worship services.

At Lawrence Free Methodist Church, we use a pair of ceiling-mounted video projectors, one for a large screen at the front of the sanctuary and one aimed at the back wall of our sanctuary. (The back wall projector is for people on the stage to see.) For a few minutes before each of our worship services, we project a looping sequence of announcement slides that promote upcoming events, and during the services, hymn and worship song lyrics are also projected. Our pastor’s sermon notes are projected, as well.

The software we use for projection (called Easy Worship) allows us to run digital video clips or clips from DVDs. Occasionally we will begin our contemporary services with a video that is intended as a prelude to worship, and we frequently use video clips as sermon illustrations.

We also produce videos to promote church events or to celebrate events in the life of our church. We have the capability to project live video when we have child dedications or baptisms. Our software also allows the projection operator to put up “nursery alerts” or other special messages during the services, if necessary.

An audio feed from our main sanctuary sound board is routed to a computer in our media office, where the sermon is recorded digitally, and made available on CD or cassette tapes for distribution. We also provide sermon audio in MP3 form on our Web site (

Our sanctuary projection booth has a live Internet connection as well, so that if we ever need to project Internet-based content, we can do that. We also subscribe to a satellite-based television network, Church Communication Network, for special seminars and other programming.

— Send e-mail to Doug Heacock at

God can speak without gadgets

The Rev. Nate Rovenstine, pastor, Lawrence Wesleyan Church, 3705 Clinton Parkway:

Worship is not a duty that is checked off a list of obligations. Rather, it is entering into the presence of the divine.

The Bible says that this invitation to worship is issued by God and made available to us through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. Because of his grace and mercy, we are empowered to respond in faith, expressing itself through love. In a real sense, our entire lives become a response of worship to his mercy. When God’s people gather to worship, we are entering God’s presence collectively.

Technology has become a part of our culture, and it has become a part of our collective worship at the Wesleyan Church. We use it as a tool to help us connect to the God who reaches down to us. Specifically, we use an LCD projector that incorporates videos, announcement slides and PowerPoint presentations during the sermon. We depend on the technology of electricity and sound projection to help amplify the sounds of our musical instruments. We use basic technology in our worship services, but we don’t depend on it. We recognize that the real power in our worship services is not our technology but the presence of the divine, made available to us through the work of his son on the cross.

This became apparent to us several years ago when a microburst hit Lawrence right before our Sunday morning worship services. Because our electricity was knocked out, our technology was useless. We worshipped anyway, and we found that God can speak, without a sound system, without electric guitars, without power point slides or videos. Worship does not depend on technology, but technology is a great tool to use to help us reach up to the God who reached down to rescue us.

— Send e-mail to Nate Rovenstine at


BrianR 8 years, 7 months ago

The burning bush was the first gadget so, what's the problem with gadgets?

igby 8 years, 7 months ago

I just read the Dead Sea Scrolls and there is nothing about mushrooms or eating mushrooms in them. However, the tribe of monks who lived near the caves were veggie and grain eaters, made beer and ate no meat , like Daniel. Sounds like Lawrence.Lol.

The scrolls are a scary document and it tells of the last days in a empty world where, Marion Lynn, is the last sole survivor here on earth. The hand full of little people are somewhat mutated and left for dead. Marion, survived and like Manson's vision stated, there has to be someone dumb enough to lead the dome survivors after the race war, ie 1969. But by 1989, Manson changed his rant to Holy War, rather than race war, too be more politically correct, perhaps.

I suppose, this was Gods judgment on Man Kind for their non belief and continued mocking of God. God leaves one enemy behind to tell the tell just as a joke on the one who whined and bullied and cursed and mocked him the loudest. All the little people (meek) break out singing just like in the Wizard of OZ.


Then Marion appears,

Marion lives to be over 1400 years or 400 years, I can't remember.

I wonder why God choose Marion? Could it be because Marion, was always attacking God and his people, like Paul, the Roman Tax collector. So God did it to make a believer out of him. It makes me wonder!

I think I would just shut up and not mock God. Believe in God or Not, but just in case there is a God, he may play a cruel joke on his enemy, just too get even. If there is a God, I think I would be afraid enough to just shut up just in case. Lol.

igby 8 years, 7 months ago

After years of lies and claiming to be God, they catch Marion and put him in a cell so everyone can walk by an stare at the Man whom they feared so much. Some said: "he's just a man" so they keep him lock up for a 1000 years.

igby 8 years, 7 months ago

You should read the scrolls, there are a lot of blanks to fill in that make a person wonder. But nothing about mushrooms!

ReadingSports 8 years, 7 months ago

I used to think that the first poster was angry. Now I just think he's sad.

You have my pity, old man.

Daniel Speicher 8 years, 7 months ago

I hear Rev. Rovenstine has one HECK of a great guy who runs his multimedia system on Sundays. Kind of a bigger guy, bearded... Incredibly intelligent and dashingly handsome. And, did I mention humble?

--Danny Speicher Media Tech, Lawrence Wesleyan Church

Daniel Speicher 8 years, 7 months ago

Seriously, though, Marion... I read through your response. And, I think what Pastor Nate was trying to get across was an answer to the intended question which, honestly, could probably better be phrased, "How do you utilize MODERN technology in your services?"

Having said that, I can honestly say that if you took away every piece of technology (new or antiquated) that you mentioned in your reply, it would not keep the truth of the message from being proclaimed. (Of course, I would not like to test the lack of clothing technology scenario out... I'd imagine that would be just a tad bit awkward.)

As a matter of fact, John Wesley (the Wesleyan denomination's namesake) was famous for his "open air" sermons due to his being kicked out of his parish. Yet, despite his need to take his "show on the road" (quite literally), his ministry flourished.

I truly believe that wherever the truth and love of Jesus Christ is preached, there will be people interested and people desiring the love that only He can provide.

Now, I'm stepping down from my soapbox... And going back to being a dashingly good-looking and humble media tech. :)

--Danny Speicher

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