We live in an amazing time, when all sorts of tools are available to the pastor or Bible teacher. We're rapidly moving from analog to digital in a lot of areas that impact the church, but none greater than sources of information.
This struck me today as I sat at my desk, behind two laptops and two Palm devices, and if I had turned around, I would have been facing a Macintosh eMac. This in my library/office with thousands of books, many of which have been made irrelevant by their digital replacements. (One of the laptops and both Palm devices (T3 and a sweet Life Drive) were those of members.)
As I was teaching in Romans Chapter 8 tonight, there were two people following along in the Bible on their Palm devices, and we have another couple who also routinely use them in that way. We're wireless over in the sanctuary and soon will be in the rest of the buildings.
In worship, we download sheet music and print it fairly often, use You Tube videos and a projection system. Tonight our associate was scrambling to put together a VHS outfit that would play through it to the big screen. We're DVD or download now. VHS? That's so 2005.
I'm smartphone equipped (Treo 650) wifi enabled, and well provided for with digital Bibles, lexicons, dictionaries, and commentaries. What I don't have on my harddrive I can probably find on the internet, and if not, I can email a friend who might have exactly what I need.
We're at the tipping point. I could almost get rid of 90% of the books in my office now and never miss them. What I would miss immediately is internet access, DSL 5mps or better, a laptop - you have to be able to move the workspace, and my smartphone. As devices get faster and smaller, maybe a mini laptop would replace the fullsized version. But that's what I need right now to get things done.
What about you guys? What do you positively have to have?