Technology, Worship, and the Odd Name of “Zoom”

Ron Hunt

In March 2020, church worship came to a sudden halt in the U.S. for nearly all churches. Two years ago, the uncertainties of the pandemic pushed Zoom into the headlines as a solution.

What made Zoom the solution was it was “interactive.” All of us could see each other and speak to each other in real time. It felt so much more like being in church, and it was a great comfort to see and hear our fellow Christians in real time. It was a salve in a lonely time for our church family and many other congregations.

We still use Zoom. Friendship Center Church, based here at Robson Ranch, embraced the technology for the first time during the pandemic. We still provide Zoom access for worship, Bible study, and other meetings and classes ever since this crisis forced us to do so. It has helped us reach many, especially those unable to attend in person.

We felt forced to do something like many churches because of the pandemic. I was trained that in-person worship was best and recorded worship was meant to accommodate people with disabilities only. Yes, I am that old.

Church History and Technology: Fun Stories Can Enlighten Us Today

Faith and technology have always moved slowly together. The organ wasn’t accepted in churches centuries ago, because it was termed “worldly” and sometimes called “the devil’s music.”

When I was a child, I remember hearing the organ was the only acceptable instrument in a church. Even pianos were frowned upon. When a trumpet came in at Easter, some grumbled that the pastor had “gone too far.”

You would think I was exaggerating, right? Well remember this? The same was said in my lifetime about guitars, and later, synthesizers and drums! I remember hearing it many times, “It’s the devil’s music.” Being a young man, I just smiled knowing these things have been said before in church history.

Resistance in Churches and Society

How we resist what the Church later comes to see as God’s will. It’s also true of social issues like slavery and equality of races and genders. Think how brief of a time ago such beliefs of equality were considered an outrage. Sadly, some are still outraged.

Science and Faith

Thirty-five years ago, I finished my studies to become a pastor. Four years of seminary (Master of Divinity) and four years of college were completed. I was grateful for all I learned. I was taught to embrace science as a great gift of God. I was also taught to apply the excellent Christian ethics to determine which to embrace.

I love science, but formerly had my own personal resistance to computers and internet technology. The internet comes with gifts of God, but also can be exploited for destructive and evil purposes. That sounds like all of creation, doesn’t it? It sounds like how humans can be, too.

Zoom is here to stay, and what a wonderful use for God’s purposes. I am so glad our church embraces it. Thanks be to God.

More Considerations for You

If you have an interest in visiting our church on Zoom with other Robson residents in Arizona and up north, please use the contact info below.

We believe Jesus taught us to ever be “Loving God, and Loving Everyone, Everywhere.” Even across the distance on Zoom!

Pastor Ron Hunt of Friendship Center Church at Robson Ranch is a spiritual director and retired psychologist. He leads worship on Zoom over the summer in Christ with Robson spiritual friends here and other distant places. Contact Ron by cell at 218-330-5306 or email at [email protected].