My wife is on her third iPhone 4 in six days.
The first one had a hardware and software failure.
The second one sounded like an old timey cotton gin. It was so loud she held it up to our landline at home when she was on the phone with Apple support and they urged her to bring it in. Immediately.
The third one? We’ll see.
The worst part is that she holds me responsible. Because I’ve had one for a year and like Apple, she assumes that I might have hand built these defective iPhones. She’ll call me in the middle of the day and say, “Guess where I am, the Apple store.” Then she’ll get a new iPhone and shake her head at home. Thanks Steve Jobs.
Experiences like this have probably jaded me a little about technology and all the advances in convenience and awesomeness we’re supposed to have reaped. (Although we still don’t have Back to the Future hoverboards.) That’s probably why when someone sent me something crazy that churches are starting to do, I got worried.
My friend Dennis sent me a link to an interesting site called “pastor gear.” On it, they had a new pulpit that was designed to hold the iPad. I’ve joked about pastors reading Bible verses from the iPad during sermons, but this is a whole new level. I do have some thoughts about this though:
1. Depending on where your church is, you might get pulpit jacked. Seriously, don’t be surprised if at someone steals your pulpit for the iPad.
2. You can’t preach a sermon about how badly the church needs people to tithe from a fancy, iPad equipped pulpit. You can’t.
3. You’re probably going to be tempted to play Angry Birds or Bejeweled during the middle of a service.
4. Based on my experience with AT&T reception, don’t be surprised when you lose a connection and your sermon “gets dropped.” I expect a whole lot of “can you hear my sermon now?” from the pulpit.
5. I like pastors who sometimes punctuate a message by hitting the pulpit with their fist. Please don’t replace that movement with a swipe of the iPad touchscreen. It’s nowhere near as dramatic.
6. If you’re going to preach from an iPad you better have the typos fixed in your worship music slides. And you better retire the waterfall or sunrise backgrounds you use for every song. You can’t update the pulpit and then keep the rest of your church old school.
7. If you get one of these fancy pulpits you won’t be able to store random, weird things in those big coffin sized pulpits we used to have. Those things are great, they’re like the attic in Goonies. Full of treasure maps and oddities.
As many questions as I have about these new pulpits, that’s not the technology I’m most concerned with. What really keeps me up at night is the thought of ushers being equipped with tasers. I recently read that right now, every three minutes in America, someone gets tasered. Let’s pray we never have ushers who are allowed to jolt you a little in order to make you scoot in to the middle so that late comers can sit in your row. Imagine tasing someone in the neck who was too slow with the offering basket?
The implications are horrifying.
What technology would you love to see added to church?