He’ll turn ninety in a week or so, but he has one of the most active and vital minds in the congregation and was more than willing to learn what he needed to know to get his memoirs published by using modern technology to make it possible. He’s Armel “Bill” Williams of Conroe, Texas, and you can find a review of his book, Profile of a Country Boy right here in LakeConroeTXonline Magazine.
Bill is a remarkable man who for decades has been the kind of resourceful, forward-thinking American who does what needs to be done to face any challenge. Granted, Bill and his wife Barbara are a bit unusual in embracing technology at this stage of life, but you can still find them teaching bible studies and reaching out with the gospel message to their neighbors, often using email themselves or working with younger, technically oriented members of the congregation to keep the enthusiasm kindled. It’s refreshing!
Church congregations are often quite a mix of ages, personalities and attitudes, and not everyone is inclined to use technology as a means of staying connected with their brothers and sisters in Christ. As the “technical” guy at our own church the past twelve years, I’ve learned many lessons about an aging congregation, the encouragement of fellowship in the body, and the use of technology in spreading the gospel message we all hear from the pulpit. Of course the Word of God never changes, no matter the circumstances in which it is presented, but the range of options for its presentation has exploded along with technology over my years here.
Web sites, email, smart phones, text messaging, Twitter, Facebook and more have changed the face of communications forever. And, while many in the congregation have considerable reservations about how these technologies are used today, the technologies themselves are not to blame for our noisy, scattered, schizophrenic world. These technological advances have as much potential to edify the congregation as to harm it.
In this series of articles we’ll be exploring both sides of the discussion, and I hope to bring a little of what I’ve learned over the last decade or so to the conversation. We’ll cover both concepts and hands-on solutions to using technology within the context of today’s highly diverse congregation — which is likely to contain members of all ages and attitudes — concerning technology and the dizzying onslaught of communications options we have today.
Whether you have a few decades on you like “Mr. Bill” Williams from the opening paragraphs of this article, or are a tech junkie like me who lives on the web, uses a smart phone, tablet and all the trappings that go with them, we’ll endeavor to explore areas that you may not have considered before, and take a look at what the bible has to say about technology — without changing a word of the Truth!