Anchorage Churches Embrace Technology
After a few hours of preparation, and a brief prayer, Pastor Ken Friendly is ready to deliver his weekly sermon at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in east Anchorage.
"Lord, I've done the best I can to prepare," said pastor Ken Friendly. "Now I'm trusting you to think through my mind and speak through my lips."
But before he delivers his Sunday sermon, Pastor Friendly pieces together his thoughts and ideas using a program on his iPad called Documents To Go. Friendly and his church are one of many starting to use technology to connect with the congregation.
But the biggest difference now in some places of worship is what's happening in the congregation as many trade the best-selling book, the Bible, for the electronic version.
"The bible's in the phone, the notebook is in the iPad, you look around and just see a tremendous difference," said Dr. Deb Friendly with Lighthouse.
The technology takeover appeals to different decades of churchgoers.
"At the church today we're in a unique position in that we have four different generations that we're called to reach out to," said Susanne Hildebrand who serves as media coordinator for Lighthouse. "Each of those generations have a different way of communicating."
Even though its the Holy Word at their fingertips, the temptation of distraction is not the easiest to avoid. "Sometimes I'm looking at people and I'm wondering, they should be looking at me," said Pastor Friendly.
While 'thou shalt not be distracted by technology' may not be the 11th commandment, it is still too tempting to resist the powers of the electronic age and what it can do to connect the entire congregation.