Television commercials tell me a new computer operating system, Windows 10, is about to be released. Its predecessor was Windows 8, which apparently has been such a dud that the Microsoft folks thought they would skip a number and maybe we wouldn’t notice.

As I observe what’s taking place in the world of computing these days, I understand how it must be to drive a Yugo on the Autobahn.

Every time I buy a computer, you can set your watch—exactly two weeks later—computer manufacturers will announce a new, vastly improved model that makes my recent purchase a relative antique. No sooner do I purchase some software than the ads announce a must-have- upgrade that will only cost another $299 to obtain.

Imagine if churches operated on the same basis. You perform a wedding ceremony, but before the couple is on their way to Disney World, you must announce the ceremony has been upgraded and they need to come back and repeat the process; half-way through a Sunday morning sermon, your associate pastor comes running out to the pulpit and presents you with a set of revised, upgraded sermon notes; and just try telling the congregation the offering was insufficient, and you’ll be sending the offering plates back for an upgrade.

I am sure the IT world will marvel at the new Windows 10, a must-have upgrade of the previous absolutely essential Windows 8 operating system—so essential that most of us stuck with Windows 7 rather than resorting to having all those colorful blocks all over our computer screens. It’s unlikely that people will stand in line at midnight to be the first on their blocks to own this new Microsoft marvel. That only happens when the latest iPhone is released.

When was the last time people stood in line to be the first in the congregation to hear your newest sermon? What has Bill Gates got that we don’t—other than snazzy graphics and a $500 million marketing budget?

II wonder if preachers of earlier days felt this way: “That Gutenberg fellow keeps coming up with new type, and they keep printing more books—every month another book—who has time to keep up with all these upgrades?”

Computers are wonderful and terrible things. They allow us to process information in amazing ways, but sometimes they absorb so much time there’s no energy left to develop worthwhile information to process. We can communicate faster, but I’m not sure we always have meaningful things to say.

Oh, well, at least one thing is for sure: I’m about to master this Solitaire game that came on my latest version of Windows.

Michael Duduit is executive editor of Preaching and dean of the Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Yes, there’s an app for that.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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