Pastor Greg Laurie on Using Technology: Episode 93

Pastor Greg Laurie is a notable pastor (Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, California) and evangelist with Harvest Crusades that has held large-scale outreaches since 1990. He was interviewed by Brendan Stark (Web Director at Harvest) in a keynote address at the CITRT (Church IT Roundtable) Regional event back in March 2014. Pastor Greg Laurie shared his value as a pastor for using technology, the Internet, and social media, and how they must be used for the ministry of the Gospel. Special thanks to CITRT and Brendan Stark for permission to post the talk on this episode of the Social Media Church podcast.

Show Notes

Connect with Brendan Stark on Facebook + on Twitter @brendanstark

#video Watch “Pastor Greg Laurie on Technology and the Internet” on YouTube

#event 2014 National Roundtable & Refresh Cache (October 22-24, 2014 @ Peoria, IL) + Call for 2014 Fall Event Ten-Talk Presenters — this is a great event for Church IT (information technology) staff and volunteers to talk shop and faith, topics include: web dev tools, help desk tools/tips/tricks, personal productivity, remote support, SQL best practices, social media analytics, training tools or methodologies, OSX on a windows network, and social media should show up somewhere in the mix too.

#raw #transcript (auto-generated by YouTube/Google)

I’m Brendan Stark
Web Director at Harvest Christian Fellowship in
Riverside Calif I’m here with Pastor Greg Laurie
thanks for being here
good to be here I was like to hang out with the geeks
alright I wish I was the key when I’m not I’m like
a wannabe geek it’s like I like everything geeks do
but I don’t know how to do it so the key is make friends with geeks
better yet hire them he does a great job
with our department all right thank you very much so
you love dad yes so how have you always love
computers and technology well my love gadgets goes back way before computers
marijuana as a little kid I got a little reel to reel tape recorder
and i was just didn’t he’s dead you know the you can actually record these little
things and I remember my first
record player and anything that Obama technology
I locked in a criss-cross forward and then I was one of the first guys to go
out and buy
a digital watch i mean when I bought the technology when I bought back was at the
probably the early seventies
you get for free in a happy meal now I probably be the over a hundred dollars
which was a lot back then
but I had they have the digital watch them have course
I had one of the first guy you know recorders a video
are like a %uh the I was like a bead a max player than later on
it became the VHS format in you know so
any minute come along I had to have the first iPhone
the proof iPod side always been a sucker for technology I just love it that’s
so you gonna pastor for over forty years forty years yes so when you start there
really wasn’t any church I T
no not at all we just yelled loudly
like a know there really wasn’t arm boy
I mean that they’ll the technology we had that day on C was like
cassette tapes I was it i &lt3 revolution active prior to that we had
a track to the fact that you could record something in
give without in an affordable price was something but
on my we were so behind the times there was no internet al gore had invented it
he was probably still in the love story pays appears career
but now was satire arm so no no no that was on yet
in so that this was a whole new frontier yet in our future
school so have you seen technology can transform
the church in the last forty years well you know I think initially
Christians were creative technology because they didn’t understand it
didn’t understand the potential up the web course it seems like summer the
early adopters we were using it for
evil purposes the melodic Crittenton thing you know how can we use it and I
immediately saw
the value in fact I even thought the name about was proving
the Internet at home let’s go fishing for men and women let’s use the net this
net goes globally
I remember are we were probably one of the first churches
to do a live webcast than it was like up 56 kg type modem
member how those use the Firebird crawl
ha convenient thing comes up you’ve got mail
I was a well remember and all I’m online while I’m online and
everything was slow but we used art
the first webcast to reach people in
I saw the potential about when some missionaries sent me a photograph have a
budget people city not in a very
dark jungle around a laptop computer been run by a generator
here in the class want to do see and accepting Christ so that we’ve gotta be
at the forefront there so we started doing our crusade in the later our
and the numbers are the people watching online grew
Expo Line Chile but in time the
equal the attendants and her crusade and then after a while they were surpassing
the number of our crusade 100 2009 course after their archives thousands
and thousands more so
it’s just unbelievable yeah so you think technologies change
evangelism how that’s done today well I P
what is done is it open up the doors for greater evangelism for those who can see
I mean the height to give the first century was the Roman Road system
you know the world was divided at the time and the Romans come along
effectively conquer the world and establish what was called
Pax Romana which was the ruler wrong and
one of the good things Romans it was the united people with a common language
which was great
and the united people with the road system and the apostles
what those roads and the use that language
to bring the Gospel to their generation path forward two thousand years
now we have the world wide web you now
we have this opportunity to return now pretty much everybody is on board with
that I think
anyone who’s not using the technology today
is just missing an opportunity me quite on a thing
why wouldn’t a church or a pastor or anyone a ministry
have basement pictures no charge why wouldn’t they have
a Twitter account why when they use Instagram
in other forms of social media its immediate it gets out to people
you can use it to bring the Gospel the people I mean this is fantastic so
incentive complaining about it let’s use it for God’s glory
someone in my position someone who’s behind the scenes a technology person
how can we help our senior pastors perform their calling as a
the pastor well I think some pastors are are prone to read this
I’m one of those people have always been interested in it i mean you know me I’ll
see something cool see online are
send a link to you what do you think about this you know cuz I’m always
interested in
anything that can help us expand our reach
but I think up for some people there there honors in a very good
and adopting new technology so I think that you need to explain things
to them and you need to show them how to use these media platforms for them stop
you know you gone to an
Apple store in the have little classes the input on proposed sin
I noticed lotta times are older people wanting to catch up you know
that for some pastors find themselves are a bit bolder
and they may be a well I know I don’t do that where do the old-fashioned way
will listen keep you know preparing your message is perhaps your browser with
but even for that there’s %ah fantastic software like logos that you can have in
your computer
and he can utilize it having an amazing collection a box in
kid you know Greek and Hebrew definitions and so much more but
I think pastors need to catch up and I think we ought to do more than ketchup
I think we ought to be leading the way cuz look we’re in the communication
and therefore we want to use whatever technology
is out there are let’s get the word out
in get a ninety-percent get a person who savvy with these things
a lot of times are younger people let them help you in uses technology to
expand the influence of you ministry
again so for you Windows Mac or Android
well I bob love the first Macintosh computers
I didn’t even know how to tie I saw that they know that that’s a cool thing about
and hype I plugged it in and the yellow iMac
and unlike what do I do with this thing and and slowly have figured out how to
use it sermon prep
it was so primitive but it was amazing because it really was a personal
so I was really upbeat mom Apple guy for a number of years but then
Windows I love the bible thumper was coming out on Windows like Anna
learn I’d learn I never really got into DOS that was way beyond me
but I sort of started figuring out the Windows platform
and then I was when the Sun was all Windows for a number of years
but then Apple comes along with the iPod and ideas
had to have an iPod all those songs in that little device and that got me back
into that was rude like
the gateway drug Apple and that brought me back into the Apple univers and then
I wasn’t Apple
only and I pretty much been Apple for years now I I like that
the simple intuitive interphase at the Apple operating system now when it comes
the so called the course Android is made some great advances in
I but I keep coming back still to the iPhone I like it better
but I know a lot of people that have the androids in and they’re really given up
a run for their money now but
the cool thing is religious use all the popcorn to win it wouldn’t wanna be
elitist about
a certain operating system %ah you know are Apr into to harvest ap
is available for both the Apple operate insisted and the Android
operating system give that Windows Phone we haven’t developed up for that you
actually it is I want us to now
you’re kidding I didn’t know that well congratulations Windows people
you can now have a harvest ap I mean literally call on the Windows
platform Alex great yeah that’s fantastic I
guaranteed someone watching this is an IT and they’re ready to quit
so there describe their burned-out neglecting their family they’re just
they feel like they’re underwater never gonna come so the only words of
encouragement for them and how do you avoid burnout I think you need to
remember what you’re doing
I i mean he may be in IT person you may be working in that
Technology department but what you’re doing is you’re
providing a platform to reach people you know we love our part in the church
summer called to preach
summer call to do worshiper use music summer called into the art summer called
I technology others are called behind-the-scene summer called
in are working in like God practical areas hospitality
every Christian is give to the needy use your gift for the glory of God
remember it’s Jesus you’re doing it for the Bible says let’s not be weary in
well doing
for in due season you’ll reap if you don’t paint so
to add for the Lord good for the glory of God for me is a pastor
like anybody else you have to find balance in life you know you have to
have time for
certainly your spiritual life you have to have time for your family
you don’t need to be stinkin on the phone all the time
checking out web sites texting all the time
you know actually set the phone down revolution I thought turn the phone off
have a conversation with somebody come out of your virtual world
for a few moments it’ll do you some good okay so
the Beatles paid us had their 50th anniversary
when they came and came to america on The Ed Sullivan Show
now and behind us I know to get can see but we have a replica guitars a
think as Paul’s base yes Paul Harper basin we have john lennon’s
Rickenbacker %uh electric rhythm guitar we have george harrison
grapes lead guitar and I don’t have wrinkles drunk kids too big
but there’s been lots of new specials out about appealed and the
the cultural impact that they had on its element and that was really
gonna rock n roll was a was what are the defining characteristic to the baby
boomer generation
I’m so I came like right after the JFK assassination a
and then the Beatles came on on site and
the culture changed so and even encounter chapel
the way the church’s worship changed kinda based on what to build broad right
I so one news program I i saw said that
today’s can a major see changes the Internet yeah
and technology and and these computers not just
had laptops but all the IRS device
else computer in your pocket really yeah exactly now
so I so seeing how the change that that happened
you know when when you were growing up and all these kids growing up today with
the internet you
do you see any parallels there and any me
things we should look out for that may be that the viewers went through with
rock and roll that
we should look out for a min well you know the Internet
let me see it as a billion loan Lee Internet is an amazing thing really
whenever new
but just for a lot from Liverpool now this some is in really
Smith over drug though now arm I was a bit a limitation I’m not sure what
people in particular
I think that you know there’s good and bad out the internet clearly
and there’s some horribly wicked things
that you can access with a few clicks of a mouse
and there’s some absolutely wonderful things you can access
so you know I don’t know then the generation that
ever had access too so much information
so quickly and its kinda been awesome responsibility
and when he needed take very seriously need to guard yourself and
any need to now allow that evil influence in your life
on the other hand you know what a great platform do
propagate the gospel and the teaching of the Word
in LB one another in a way the internet which is such an impersonal ping is help
make the world a smaller place you know I
started with emailing without texting who knows what snacks will just think
the pot not get electronically
maybe one day we’ll actually said bonds down and talk with each other
has a the Cooper friend the other day we ought to deceive restaurant
and everybody was on their phone nobody was talking
so actually gonna all in a group Tag tonight said be
here now they were lean they all looked up at once
haha that’s funny the new impacted Texas again so
but in a way though it can keep it connects apprentice when
my wife and I travel we love to use like FaceTime or Skype
we can talk to our kids talk to our grandkids
and that it’s a great way to make a connection i think is the church
as Christians anything we can do to build and encourage community in our
fellowships is good
anything that we can do to bring the Gospel a more people
is good so we have to go into it with wisdom and be careful
but at the same time not be afraid to britain and use a brawl
weekend for God’s glory what technology are you excited about
well I think the technology I’m really having a lot of fun with right now and
I’m using more
is on probably Instagram and Twitter
you know I didn’t quite know how to use Twitter i mean they have a preacher
content with the same
is challenging because we tend to be long winded right
Sodexo I i can only use as many characters min
and but I find that those tweets can go out really have an impact immediately
and I love Instagram could you can capture little snapshot
appear like Nepal whether people in caterpillar’s I’m sort of connected with
them then when I see Missy
RDS R you did your dog rights other beautiful study your
child I saw that so that would you have for lunch you know
AgCenter a so I love all those technologies 1 I’ve been having a lot of
fun with personally
is a it’s a digital tablet Conway com
and we come makes it rather and died you know in the past
the stylus is for them have been really pleased big
like drawing with %ah like I you know some large
object get doesn’t work I’m use the working with dental this new 1i got
has a very small stylist and then you can go into
the Sedins and you can pick like a pencil
or appear in or up top banner at the crib top 10
or impair bra she can change colors Simon tryna lot I’m
was a cartoonist before was our pastor I’ve always loved Design I’ve been
doing more cartoons posed in my piece but page
between them putting them up on Instagram and stuff and people seem to
be enjoying themselves
that’s a technology have been having a lot of fun but lately I still love to
take pictures live cameras always looking at the latest
cameras but you know the cameras and the iPhone are so good in
like it said you know the best camera is the one you have with you
now is 7i phone in my pocket so I tend to take probably
ninety percent of my photos if not more with my iPhone
even though I have some nice cameras I’d I don’t get him out as often as I should
I love anything that sorta captures life in
because then you go back and reflect on it and those are great memories so
I like it when we can use it more personal way yeah
and you sense that you see it that you’re your the people that you Pastor
have a more haven’t personal connection to you
it’s hard I mean you have 1000 people out ya I think they do because people
come up to me and say
I love the pull up your granddaughters and the funny thing is all
I’m alright a little article maybe it’s a little Bible teaching
now getting a fair amount of response as you know maybe a my
Facebook page %uh get your 30,000 people liked it
and then I’ll do something really random like
draw cartoon or want to meet in a plea does
sneak into the picture above for my grandkids and again like
a hundred and seventy thousand like them like what so it shows me though that
people are looking for personal connection
so so the fine with that assertive embrace it in
you know I put some personal things out there but I do use it as a platform
for sharing parts I have a small so he is a promoter bull
purposes but people will come as a oh I love that show your grandkids are
I love the little bit the on so they feel connected to the Pilipino you
and in a way they do because you’re opening your life up to them so
I think in that way it’s a good thing and think some people there just a
little too obsessed
taking selfies all the time feeling up to update
everything constantly like you know what it’s actually okay to not give us
updates every four minutes relax a little bit maybe live a little more
life I’m not one of those guys I like single sometimes a few days without
anything on Instagram
I usually put something on Facebook but I’ll just take it day offers
so are dear to opera be non then in than other days I’m in there like four or
five times depending but
you know I think we need to find the balance again the values as technology
not have a dominating our life so what do you think is the biggest challenge
facing the church today well I think for the church
our greatest challenges is remaining connected to the
culture we’re livin arm
sometimes a bill in the church were answering questions no one is asking
and we’re not an answer in the ones they are asking so I think there needs to be
an understanding of what’s happening in culture
there needs to be an understanding of technology platforms that can be
for God’s glory we need to deliver our content in an effective
way to people but at the same time
we don’t want the in any way compromised our content
we don’t wanna oversimplify we wanted understandable but at the same time
we don’t want to compromise on what we’re actually seeing trading our
is to be aware apart changing world
and come with the right message at the right time which clearly
is the gospel and reach people with that
I think we are in the most biblically illiterate generation
in the history of the United States of America I get back up and say the most
literate generation
but then add the most biblically illiterate people know so little
about the Bible that’s the bad news the good news is
well they know so little about the Bible so it’s not like you’re
fighting with preconceived notions they have no notions
so that’s an opportunity for us to imprint them sort of like
wet cement let’s go in there with the to message of the gospel and
in use are media platforms i mean it’s an amazing thing that
anybody can have their please put paid to the can have their Twitter account
they can have their Instagram another platforms in
you know maybe they don’t reach millions or even thousands or even hundreds but
the region group for people are interested in them so
all over sana leverages technologies and gone to all ok
our world and preach the gospel so for the past two years you’ve had kind of a
a plan to can reach out to america so
called harvest America so you what kinda share your vision for that
harvest America which is happening this year at the American Airlines Center in
dollars doctors
is the event were capturing then we do
alive HD webcast in it goes into churches
some other than very large churches that maybe five six thousand people
in attendance which we’ve seen sometimes it’s a small church maybe a little
country church a bar
100 people then again it might be
gonna do a front room you know you can take a Roku box now you can download the
harbors channel
it’s free and watch it live that’s an amazing technology
he could be carried on I were the christian stations out there be a
I wanna there on broadcast as well
and then it will be live in some radio stations but then you can watch it on
your laptop
you can watch it on your tablet device you can watch it
on your smartphone I think the best way to use it is to be with the person
so you can be there in the capacity a praying for them is our hearing the
and following up on them after the predominantly can’t do that
you know you have aunt matilda lives near the center the country
so central Lincoln say check this link out at this time and watch it
then after the event has come and gone will be archived you could still send
the link up Arbor
mechanics are still in play and God’s Word will not return void its livor
it was pre-recorded yeah has really taking the technology of multi-site
which is exploring the crap country and making this event available
two churches anywhere now to have an event in there in their sanctuary you
know some people will say
unwielding people want to get together and watch a video once more than that
you have to understand it’s a live webcast at a message in
here’s the funny thing we’ve discovered and that is for some reason music does
not work as well
on a webcast is speaking to us you know what were we have
a satellite site a church we get a video P the message we always have live
worship because we’ve tried
you know webcasting or somin people don’t participate
when the music is live and anything the message they respond here’s an
interesting thing years ago
Billy Graham its or to the forerunner of what we’re doing
in a massive scale in an outreach he called mission world
and they took his message put it on satellite
all around the United States are around the world they found that the percentage
of response was higher
and where the live link sites as they call them than it was in the arena
were billy was preachy that blew my mind
and that was years ago so you say all won’t work as well in a church no
actually it will
in fact he might work more effectively the new me think
so your job is just capture that signal
you know set your church opulent optimal way for
maximum impact I with that image that you’re showing the people with the sound
and so forth
and light got do is work to the gospel and stand back and watch what the Lord
will do
Patrick would you like to pray for all the people watching us right now
yeah let’s do that father I prefer all the people
out there who are adopting this technology because they see the
potential in the given them the skills these abilities these
guess rowly help them to use these gifts for your glory
help them to grow in their understanding up the technology with even more
to grow their understanding up your word enough the importance of
spreading the gospel are there was a time when
we had to go to distant shores to reach people with the message but now we can
be in those distant shores so quickly
live stream mean video and so many other resources that we have so help us to be
in use these resources to use them
to the best of our abilities until you come back again
we ask this in Jesus name amen

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