I was reading an article in Wired magazine last night about how the internet has changed things over the past 10 years. I love the fact that just 10 years ago smart people were calling the internet a fad or something that would never go mainstream. It was hard to see how much the easy collection of information would change our lives. (does anyone remember life before www.imdb.com back then if I couldn’t figure out what movie someone else had been in I was forced to suffer until my friend Kenny called me back)
One of the things in the article that really jumped out at me was that one of the reasons people thought the internet would fail was because of the money it would cost to fill it with content. Most people still had an idea of entertainment broadcasters producing entertainment for the masses. No one imagined that the assumed great lazy consumers would actually put the effort into creating their own entertainment. But that is exactly what has happened. Suddenly there is a huge culture of people not simply receiving, but in the process of creating, and not only is it fun, but it is also speaking to a need deep inside of their hearts. Why else would people spend hours on blogs or web pages or creating music with garage band for only a handful of people to ever hear? We all have the desire to be engaged in what we are doing. We have this desire to create.
For a while after the industrial revolution and the invention of the television people forgot what makes them feel most alive. They turned to non-interactive entertainment and stopped producing anything on the local level all together. As people moved that way for entertainment their worship turned that way too.
As churches we began feeding the consumer ethos and presenting church services that were all about feeding the congregation. Now I have seen an awakening among students and adults to a new desire to be involved in worship, not simply through singing, but through hands on involvement. And more than that worshipers want to be a part of the creative process because they have inside of them the image of the creator.
In many ways this internet that people feared would dehumanize us all has reminded us what it means to really be human. It has reawakened us to the spark of God that is inside of all of us.