Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Technology and the Simple Church

When my brother-in-law showed me his iTouch, I lusted. I wanted to swap out my old, defunct Video iPod for the newer, sleeker version. His had more gigabytes, applications, and longer battery life. Turning the screen sideways initiates widescreen (16:9) format, fitting summer blockbusters into a three-inch screen.

"Do you like to watch movies that way?" I asked my brother-in-law.

"Oh, yeah," he replied.

Either small is the new big, or we have really lowered our standards.

In a recent Wired magazine article, author Robert Capps labels this the "Good Enuf Rvlutn" (a.k.a., Good Enough Revolution). His premise is that 'low-fi technology,' such as MP3s, Skype calls, minibook laptops, Flip camcorders, and virtual lawyers, 'will rule the world.'

In a insightful summary, Capps writes, "The attributes that now matter most of all fall under the rubric of accessibility. Thanks to the speed and connectivity of the digital age, we've stopped fussing over pixel counts, sample rates, and feature lists. Instead, we're now focused on three things: ease of use, continuous availability, and low price." As a result, people will 'happily sacrifice power and applications' in pursuit of the three aforementioned values.

People are beginning to prefer what is simple, ready-made, and cheap. Perhaps this accounts for the rebirth of the Little Caesar pizza franchise. And the simple church movement can likewise pay tribute to the 'Good Enough Revolution.' Let's just hope this expression of church, which could likely become the soul of Christianity in decades to come, avoids becoming too cheap.


randy said...

A good warning at the end. I have oft wondered if we can return the church to the family model and away from the corporate one that is imprinted in American culture. I believe we can, and I believe we must.

I just looked below the comment box and it is telling me to "choose an identity". What sage advice!

Sprained Ankle said...

Yesterday in our church service, an elder/father/friend chose to leave his seat and plant himself next to a group of kids whose inside voices differ little from their outside voices. This was an example of coming to give,not get, a blow to the consumer model and boost to the family 'mindset'. I thanked him for it and do so again.

And fortunately, God has chosen our identity for us: children of God; bride of Christ; saints; church; the redeemed.