Surely this falls into the category of "What's next?" "God is not afraid of technology" claims T.D. Jakes, pastor of the Potter's House in Dallas, Texas, which just dedicated a high-tech 26,000 seat sanctuary.
About 200 seats have data terminals and laptop computers so worshipers can download sermon notes and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Altar attendants use handheld computers to input new member data and prayer needs. Services, not suprisingly, are broadcast over the Internet (www.thepottershouse.org).
Jake's church gets points for inclusivity: the service is translated into six languages and broadcast to members wearing wireless headsets.
"Our culture's ‘bigger-is-better’ mentality presents a challenge to congregations as they seek to develop a sense of community within their worshiping assembly," says Scott Weidler, ELCA associate director for worship and music. "I've never been to Potter's House, but I would be curious to know how they achieve a sense of the holy."Obviously, extensive high-tech possibilities are currently out of reach for most ELCA congregations, Weidler says, but are no doubt part of the their future. "It will be interesting to see how technology becomes integrated into the lives of all our congregations, especially the smaller ones," he said.
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