INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY IN CHURCH: A CASE STUDY OF LIVING FAITH CHURCH A.K.A WINNERS CHAPEL
| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|
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Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE
1.1 Background to the Study
The introduction of the computer and the internet has led churches to using computer technologies to enhance and promote traditional ministries: worship, fellowship, pastoral care, Christian education, mission and community outreach, evangelism and communications. Its significant benefits make it fitting for ministry. Pautler (2010), noted that technology has played a huge part in the spread of Christianity through-out history. The world today has metamorphosed from an analog world to a digital one where technological tools are taking significant roles. More people (even the uneducated) are now using technological tools in their day-to-day activities. To build the educational ministries of a local church, and to minister the word of God to people, every pastor, Christian educator, leader or facilitator in the educational ministries must embrace technological tools.
Instructional technology (IT) is the ability to share information using media-based technology (audio, text, video, image, etc.) to facilitate enhanced interaction between educators and targeted learners (Jedlicka, Brown, Bunch, & Jaffe, 2002). Furthermore, IT has been classically described as a systematic way of designing, carrying out, and evaluating the total process of learning and teaching in terms of specific objectives, based on research in human learning and communication, and employing a combination of human and nonhuman resources to bring about more effective instruction. (Commission on Instructional Technology, 1969, p. 27). Instructional technology makes today’s ministry easier and better for the educational ministries of the church. A Christian educator has to be acquainted with these modern technologies and be ready to intentionally make effective use of them in building the educational ministries of his/her local church. Similarly, a Christian educator has to know some misuses/abuse of these modern technologies and how to curb the misuses/abuse so that they will not impair the good uses of modern technologies in building the educational ministries of his/her local church.
The church is a company of all the redeemed. This company comprises of the family of God, the elect, and the communion of saints. The word church was based upon the Greek word for assembly, or congregation – ekklesia. The first implies that which comes “out of” (ek) and the second to that which is called (Kaleo) (Matt. 16:18). This set of people are called out of the world and set aside to always gather in God’s name and purpose. Technology in the 21st century has spread its tentacles in virtually all spheres of human endeavor. It has changed the way we engage with people and understand our world. John Brust cited by Paulter (2000) said, “the Church needs to keep up with what is going on; the church needs to be as current as anything else out there; otherwise you will not reach the new generation.” In a world where every day we become more interconnected, the global visibility of churches is clearly linked to their commitment to the worldwide web. In Nigeria (Bolu, 2011), more and more young people are turning to the internet to find personal, social and religious information and ecclesiastical institutions are devoting more and more resources to improving their presence on the web.
The society we live in today, sees education as the key to success in life. In all human societies, past and present, education has been instrumental to impacting positively to the survivals of individuals and the society. As such, instructional technology provide concepts and attitudes to the individuals. It improves skills, ability to reason and be informed about what is going on globally. Still there are people (Christians) who viewed technology as equipment that does not glorify God. They argued that these are materialism and self-glorification and contrasts the humility expected of Christians. They objected to the use of technology in the church even though they owned mobile phones and computers to themselves. They believe the coming of technology and globalization is a desire to propagate a culture of the Devil. They believe people (Christians) can use technology outside but not in the church (Ebenezer, 2020). This researcher will investigate the influence of instructional technology in the church.
1.2 Statement of the Problem The issue of the adoption of instructional technology in church for either education purpose of for the propagation of the gospel has recently posed some challenges to the Church. Some Christians are of the opinion that the new technology should not be used for church purposes considering the distraction accompanying it.
Again, many Christian organizations, either out of sheer religious fanaticism, apprehension or misinformation have written off the technology as some “unrighteous” thing that is apparently not fit as a channel for religious messages hence they have literally thrown away the baby with the bath water. Their position is predicated on the many ignoble, vicious and immoral posts on the Internet via the social media platforms. Yet it can be contended that like any other medium, what one does with the technology is purely one’s choice. The medium itself is not the problem. However, not many Christian organizations have embraced the lofty disposition of the instructional technology. This is probably because of the financial involvement as the cost of using instructional technology in church and sustaining it is expensive. This can explain why smaller churches are yet to see information and communication technology as an option. Even when the work of Christian education and pastoral training today is so intertwined with what means and how those means ease the projection of the gospel. Within this framework, therefore, the instructional technology have become not just relevant but in fact indispensable to Christian education, pastoral training and the church’s mission of evangelizing the world. The church now has a lot to gain and maybe little to lose in return. She has to reach the people in issues that pertain to the gospel but at the same time she has to translate this to reflect the realities of the present time. Time is of essence here. Speed is also of importance here (Michael, 2012). The church is also affected by this wave of change brought about by technological advancement. Important changes in different aspects of human life are recorded daily as a result of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). As a human organization, the Church cannot afford to be a passive observer of the fascinating benefits and challenges the new information revolution presents to mankind in this 21st century. Considering the above mentioned challenges, there is need, therefore, to examine the impact of instructional technology in the church.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of this study is to examine the impact of instructional technology in the church in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District. Specifically, this study intends to:
- To determine the extent to which instructional technology influence pastoral training in Living Faith Church Umuahia District.
- To determine the extent to which instructional technology promotes Christian education in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.
- To investigate the level of exposure of Living Faith churches in Nigeria to the use of instructional technology.
- To ascertain the benefits and challenges of computer literacy to religious leaders and members of Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.
- To determine the factors militating against better and wider use of instructional technology (IT) in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.
- To determine the extent to which instructional technology impact on outreaches and revivals in Living Faith Church, Umuahia District.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is often imperative to question what would be the significance of any endeavor, be it academic or otherwise. This is also applicable in this study. The researcher anticipates that at the completion of this study, will give a clear insight on the knowledge and practice of various churches with respect to instructional technology. This research work will be of great benefit to general overseers, pastors, church leaders, and deacons in unveiling the efficacy of instructional technology to Christian education in churches. The study also seeks to understand the prospects and challenges of adoption of instructional technology (IT) tools in the work of ministry in Living Faith Church taking cues from reports and outcomes from others that have used such. Understanding this will help ministers make better decisions in the use of technology in the work of communicating the gospel and discipline people.
The study findings will to address the implication of the new technology in church and society. The research will set an alarm for church leaders and youth to uphold biblical basis of teaching for the future transgenerational leaders to be rooted in their faith and believe. This study will also serve as a gap-closer to existing literature on the subject of instructional technology as it affects Churches in Nigeria.
Furthermore, this study will help the church appreciate the need for instructional technology to be adopted into the church system and management. It will also help the church in effective and efficient planning and execution of her pastoral programmes within and outside the church.
Finally, it will be a source for further research and of relevance to seminary students, theologians, church historians, future researchers and stakeholders in the field of research and education.
1.5 Research Methodology
This study will utilize both social scientific literature, news sources and other relevant documents to compare the contributions of instructional technology in both the secular world and in the church. The methods and procedures used in carrying out this research work are as following:
- Historical method of research: The research employed more of library and less field work. The primary data was collected from the Bible while the secondary data was collected from books and journals.
- The book shop of Living Faith Church in Umuahia District were consulted for materials on the subject of instructional technology in church.
- Internet Sources were also consulted with adequate reference.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This work considers the impact of instructional technology in the church as given by different researchers in the field and the implication for Living Faith Church, Umuahia District. This work will allow ministers to consider and plan the use of technological tools in the work of ministry.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Every research work has some shortcomings which arise as a result of problems encountered by the researcher in the course of the work.
The researcher encountered some difficulties in getting to meet with some church leaders who seems to be hoarding relevant information.
There was limitation due to funds which made it difficult to get to all the necessary materials for the study.
Notwithstanding these foregoing limitations, the researcher still had the opportunity to carry out his investigation in the church premises successfully. The researcher believes that these limitations did not hinder the researcher to present reliable compilations of the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following are the definitions of the basic terms employed all through the research:
Technology: The free online dictionary defines technology as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry (The free online dictionary, 2019).
Instructional Technology: Instructional technology is the use of a variety of digital technology such as the internet, web-based applications, computer devices, online curriculum and more to facilitate and enhance student learning in the classroom.
Instructional materials: These are objects or devices which help the teacher to make the lesson much clear and understandable to the learner.
Media: Media is the plural form of medium and refers to collective communication outlets or tools used to access, store and deliver information among many people, including newspapers, magazine, television, radio, internet, etc.
This is the intentional efforts to pass on the Christian faith and lifestyle to others. It involves people of mature faith nurturing others who are growing faith.
Preaching: this is the delivery of a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church.
Teaching: Teaching is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and intervening so that they learn particular things, and go beyond the given.
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