The traditional model of a sermon is set up perfectly for auditory learners—those who learn best by hearing information. But some people learn better by moving and touching (kinesthetic learners) and others by seeing things in front of them (visual learners).

This difference is recognized in various ways. For example, preachers love to look out and see someone taking notes (a kinesthetic way of engaging the material).

Technology is another way to invite people of various learning styles to engage in the Sunday morning proclamation. Pastors could encourage people to type notes on their phones that will help them absorb and remember what they’ve heard. They could encourage people to take pictures of the moments that stand out to them in worship, engaging their visual senses. Or congregants could draw on their tablet as they experience the word.

These are all ways to help people engage more with worship, not distract from worship.

Technology helps us reach the world

On a given Sunday, Pastor Jones preaches to a congregation of 100 people at St. John Lutheran. He is a good preacher, and the Spirit moves through their worship. But at the end of the day, the only way for people to experience the amazing things God is doing in their worship is for them to come to St. John.

But if members checked in on Facebook when they come to worship, all of their friends would see it and could talk about it in the week to come. If another member tweeted one of the pastor’s insights from the sermon, hundreds of people would also learn from that insight. And if someone posted a picture of an uplifting moment to Instagram, all sorts of conversations could happen about the work God is doing.

The worship of the church is a public act. Social media allow us to reach the world and engage people far beyond the church doors with the word we are encountering in worship.

David L. Hansen
Hansen is pastor of Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, Texas.

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