The CalvaryChapel.com team has received many requests for website “makeovers,” thus sparking several conversations as to the overall purpose of this project and the use of technology in relating God’s Word to today’s culture.
The following are some of the arguments presented by pastors as relating to technology.
Technology is used for evil, such as porn, and thus has no place in the church.
Yes, technology is used in ways that are evil—pure evil. Yet, technology itself is a tool. All tools are inert. Therefore, technological tools are inert. Rather, it is the state of the person’s heart using the tool that determines the use of the technology. Remember, even in the Bible, those that had the tools and talent to carve could either carve wooden idols or mold a golden calf to worship, or they could carve pieces for God, such as seen with the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple. The question is how are we going to implement the tools for our given talents. Will we glorify Satan or glorify God?
God doesn’t need a website to reach people or build an active church.
Yes, this is 100 percent correct. But consider this question: Does God need humans to reach people? Though Romans 1:20 states that creation itself testifies of God and John 16:7-8 states that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, God has chosen us as ambassadors and commissioned us to share the Gospel and disciple each other.
So, if we are putting our hope in a website to build our church numbers or to bring about revival within the community and church, then we are placing our hope on the work of a human being, which means we are all doomed. It is by God’s sovereign will, grace, and mercy—through the work of the Holy Spirit—that people come to Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9).
As mentioned, we are called to share the Gospel and to disciple one another, encouraging one another through the hearing of God’s Word. By no means can a mere website replace God or discipleship or bring about revival. Rather the use of technology is a relevant means to reach a culture that is so accustomed to technology that other means of communication are foreign to their way of life. If God then so chooses to bless our feeble efforts and talents in developing technology to reach people, then awesome. We simply acknowledge the tools and talents available to us, use them to the best of our abilities to glorify God (Colossians 3:23-24), understanding that whatever fruit is produced is from the goodness of God.
Technology should be at the forefront of every decision made regarding the church.
Balance is needed for this extreme viewpoint. God saves, not technology. If technology became unusable for some reason, would the spreading of God’s Word come to an end? Nonsense! God’s Word is alive (Hebrews 4:12). Coming together to read God’s Word and to raise our voices in song to God is what is important. Technology should never be used to replace God or supersede the teaching of His Word. Technology is nothing more than a tool to use in conjunction with today’s culture.
This brings us to our purpose for the website makeover project. This project is meant to take antiquated, poorly designed Calvary Chapel websites and recreate them to today’s standards. Case studies will be done showing a before and after instance of the websites. This is by no means a belittling of the websites themselves, but rather an online series explaining how to avoid the common pitfalls in web design, graphic design, user experience, navigation, and search engine optimization techniques. The overall goal of creating any website is to glorify God (Colossians 3:23-24) and better serve both the church congregation and community.