Pastor Greg Laurie on Using Technology: Episode 93 » Social Media Church podcast

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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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