As I observe what’s taking place in the world of computing these days, I understand what it must be like 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 me another $199 to purchase at the special “upgrade” price..
Imagine if churches operated on the same basis. You perform a wedding ceremony, but before the couple is even on the way to Disney World you must announce that the ceremony has been “upgraded” and they need to come back and repeat the process. Or 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 that the offering was insufficient and you’ll be sending the offering plates back for an “upgrade.”
In recent weeks the world has gone crazy over Windows ’95 — a “must have” upgrade of the previous “absolutely essential” Windows 3.1 operating system. People stood in line at midnight to be the first on their block to own this new Microsoft marvel. When is 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 haven’t got — other than snazzy graphics and a $300 million marketing budget?
I wonder if preachers of an earlier day felt the same 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 both wonderful and terrible things. They allow us to process information in amazing ways — but sometimes they absorb so much time that 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.

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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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