Pandering or preaching to the converter?

The late media savvy Pope John Paul II was a master at harnessing the electronic media and recognizing its value in helping spread the gospel message to the multitudes.

Though I am beginning to wonder if his willingness to use communication technology to engage and inspire the faithful was lost on the rest of the Holy See.

An online ad for Audio Visual Mart reads, “Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced the occasional sleeper on Sunday morning. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Technology can inspire your congregation in new ways.”

A growing number of pastors and ministers are tired of competing with the Internet, MTV and video games and are taking a long look at the exploding market of what is being called ‘house of worship technology’.

Fed up with dwindling congregations and disconnected parishioners, some church community leaders are raising funds to wire their houses of worship with large video screens, state-of-the-art sound systems and digital video cameras. Some use video clips from popular films to illustrate and comment on the weekly Bible readings while recording – then later uploading the entire service to the Internet.

Is this pandering, simply preaching to the converted or a bold attempt to wrestle the TV converter from the hands of their weekly audience members?

What do you think?

Sources: Is Jesus the next killer app?
Photo Credit: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


2 Comments on “Pandering or preaching to the converter?”

  1. Rodd Lucier says:

    Have you heard of SQPN?
    Father Roderick podcasts a show called “The Daily Breakfast” every day from the Netherlands. You can find him on iTunes or at

    The media and the world wide web are delivery mechanisms, like television or text. As the definition of ‘community’ evolves, our definition of faithful participation in that community may also need tweaking.

    My take is that each of these channels offer different, blended faith experiences, none of which is as valuable on its own as when experienced in combination.

  2. Mike Redfearn says:

    Thanks for this great resource Rodd.

    The Catholic Church is truly diverse!

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