...our desire is not that people content themselves with staying at home as "cyber-Christians" but that they come, visit, and join with us as we worship God. A website must not become a substiute for church attendance and membership.
Technology for the Glory of God
I sometimes wonder what the Reformers would have done with modern technology. John Calvin, for example, sat in a small room, dimly lit with a few candles, poring over manuscripts, scratching with a quill pen, dipping it every so often in ink. And yet Calvin produced a phenomenal amount of material. Luther, too, in the Wartburg in German, painstakingly translated the Scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into the German language without the use of BibleWorks! And his works run to over 30 volumes!
What, I ask myself, would Calvin and Luther have done with the internet, Facebook, blogging?
Interestingly, in the providence of God, technology was developing at the time of the Reformation. Johannes Gutenberg, who died in 1468, some fifteen years before Luther's birth in 1483, and some forty one years before Calvin's birth in 1509, introduced the printing press into Europe which greatly facilitated the propagation of books, pamphlets and tracts. The Reformers did not think such "modern" (to them) inventions were "unspiritual," but they used them to the glory of God and the edifying of God's people.
Imagine what the First Reformed Church of Geneva's website would have looked like! Imagine if people could have listened to Calvin's or Luther's sermons online!
Things have developed since the Reformation. Now instead of memorising huge amounts of material (as Calvin reportedly did; he could quote the Bible in its original languages, as well as the works of theologians from memory) we store material on our iPhone, iPad, mp3 player, Kindle or laptop computer.
The church should make use of technology and press it into the service of the kingdom of heaven. The ungodly use God's good gifts (the works of His providence) in the service of sin, and thus to their own destruction. We use the same technology, which comes to us in the good providence of our Heavenly Father, to glorify Him.
Introducing the New Website
Thus, the Limerick Reformed Fellowship are pleased to launch their new website.
The members of our Fellowship, two in particular, have been busily upgrading our website. We had a good website before, but now we have a much better website. God has given us gifted men: one man in particular who knows how to design websites; and God has so worked His love in their hearts that they are willing to put in time and effort to glorify God with the new technology of our day. Their pastor has barely reached "advanced turning on a computer" studies!
The church should make use of technology and press it into the service of the kingdom of heaven.
One person, whose anonymity will be protected, said that our new website has a "cutting edge, professional new design, leading to a visually stunning, elegant look, easy on the eyes and easy to navigate, which will make visitors want to stay just to enjoy the view." We hope you will agree with this assessment.
You will notice many new features of our new website.
First, it is pleasing to the eye. The materials are arranged logically which makes it easy to find those articles which visitors will want to read and sermons visitors will want to download. Each article has a short one-line summary which should whet the appetite so that you will want to read further. Each article also has a picture to illustrate it, an image which captures the essence of the piece.
Second, it is easy to navigate. Unlike many websites (and unlike this pastor’s desk!) this website is not thrown together like the proverbial "dog's dinner." We hope that you will agree that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.
Third, we have "tagged" the articles so that they are easier to find as they are arranged not only under category but also according to key words such as "truth," "evangelism," "children," "church," and many more. Like me, you may find it fun just to play around with the “tag cloud” as it is called.
cutting edge, professional new design, leading to a visually stunning, elegant look, easy on the eyes and easy to navigate, which will make visitors want to stay just to enjoy the view
Fourth, all of our sermons are available, arranged according to series and text ,and are can be listened to via mp3 or viewed via YouTube. We have sermon series on Psalms 23 and 32; the book of Esther; the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24-25; the Armour of God in Ephesians 6; A Great Cloud of Faithful Witnesses in Hebrews 11; and (ongoing) the book of Philemon.
Why a Website?
Now, why should a church have a website, and why a good website? Obviously, a good website, indeed a very good website, should be our goal because everything the church does should be good. We are serving our God, and He deserves our very best efforts.
A website is an excellent tool for making the truth known. It contains the contact details of the pastor, as well as the times and venue of the worship services. It enables interested persons, who are not yet ready to visit, to listen to the preaching and examine the teaching; and it does that twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year, even when the pastor is sleeping and the webmaster is on holiday!
Of course, our desire is not that people content themselves with staying at home as "cyber-Christians" but that they come, visit, and join with us as we worship God. A website must not become a substiute for church attendance and membership.
Let me encourage you, as the pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, to visit us. If you have questions concerning our doctrines and practices, do not hesitate to ask either through this blog or through the other forms of communication (e-mail, phone or even letter).
Enjoy visiting our website. Stay awhile, enjoy the ambiance!
To God be the glory.