Some churches are still comfortable using the old organ. Others have progressed (is that the right word) to using more commonly used instruments such as electric guitar, drums etc. When it comes to that part of the service we all dread – the announcements – some churches use multimedia very effectively, and others just have some deacon stand up and read a list of very boring notices, which are in the church bulletin anyway. Sometimes we need to stop and think about why we do what we do, rather than just continue to do what we do, because we have always done it!
The WhatsApp prayer group in our church has done that for us. For the first time in 20 years, people who go to the mid week prayer meeting are starting to ask the question, is it not time to close this down now? Some people would be horrified at the thought of closing a prayer meeting – after all prayer should be at the centre of every church activity. To close down a prayer meeting would be the same as removing the Bible reading from the church surely? Actually, the problem is that too many churches are caught in the tradition trap. They do what they have always done, in the same way they always did it, because …. Well because that’s how it’s always been done!
Then along comes technology and suddenly there is a new way of doing something. Like the church notices. I have seen some churches do notices in such an innovative way that one would almost go to church just to see the notices. WhatsApp has done just that to the prayer in our church. I honestly don’t think there will ever be a better way to prayer than through WhatsApp. Now of course there are difficulties, because isn’t it so nice to all be physically present in the same room together to pray? Yes of course! But then again what about the advantage that WhatsApp has where we can pray all the time everywhere, together. One person sends a message with a prayer request and instead of having to arrange a meeting place, we are all immediately praying for the same thing even though we are in different homes, cities and even continents sometimes. We pray in real time together, as if we were in the same room. And I think God loves it.