A sponsored post on Facebook for a piece of church music tech equipment prompted some responses the company probably didn’t anticipate.
There, in the middle of my Facebook feed, was a post about a piece of church music tech equipment. Specifically, we’re talking about in-ear monitors for worship bands.
For the most part, the post had positive comments from people who seem to be in such bands.
But I noticed that there were some additional comments who took issue with the text of the ad and that style of worship.
Off to a bad start?
The text that began the post started the controversy. It stated that a pastor called the monitors — whose brand I’m not naming — “a GAME CHANGER for the church.” Yes, the ad placed those words in all-caps.
One commenter immediately chimed in, claiming it’s the Holy Spirit that’s the “game changer” in a church.
Someone apparently connected with the company (or at least a fan of the product) tried to defend the statement. He said music is “a huge part” of the worship experience.
For many, it certainly is. For me, because of the obsession to turn worship music into rock concerts, it no longer is. In fact, I think I’ve reached a point that if I found a church that didn’t have music, I wouldn’t miss it.
And given the ever-increasing volume of many worship bands, there’s something ironic about praising a product that helps the band hear better.
I wish there was as much concern about not deafening the audience. There doesn’t seem to be.
The person speaking in favor of the in-ear monitors said giving each band member their own earpieces removes stage noise associated with wedge speakers on stage.
I’m sure that is a better experience for the band. I’m sure that, in turn, creates a better experience for the audience.
But this ad stirred up a lot of resentment lying under the surface.
One of the commenters who also felt there was a little too much emphasis on “showmanship” wrote this:
Worship is not an experience, and requires no technological help. What you are describing is a musical performance, not worship. It’s sad to see that churches have forgotten the difference.
I can actually understand a group of musicians getting excited about church music tech.
I imagine there are doctors or surgeons who may be enthusiastic about the latest greatest piece of tech to help them treat patients.
Technology can excite the people who use it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, even if the technology is to be used in a church.
I think what went wrong with this sponsored post is that it provided too clear a look at “how the sausage is made.” People who aren’t church musicians probably didn’t benefit at all from seeing them gush over earpieces. Particularly when they started talking about how much it changed church.
To non-musician worshippers, that almost sounds sacrilegious.
It may well help bands sound better. That, in turn, might even help bring some members of the congregation a richer “worship experience.”
But to others, particularly those who already don’t like the way church worship has evolved, it sounds like an excuse for more of the same.
Maybe if the ad had been shown only to musicians, the reaction would have been more pleasant.
The fact that it was shown to a much broader audience that, in some cases, took great offense, should give worship pastors pause.