Well, I didn't know until today, but not only does "Use Less Stuff Day" exist... it is TODAY. :)

Our friends at OnSong (awesome iPad app for worship) have posted this video celebrating today and promoting using less paper and replacing it with OnSong. Check out the video and share your thoughts!

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Making PDF files available online somewhere (Dropbox, Planning Center, etc) is something they should do anyway as a means for everyone to have access to charts for practice purposes. 

If I suddenly had an opportunity to go to a church where everything was to my liking, though, I'd be suspect, and have to think through my motives very carefully. I guess if I was only motivated to show off my chops on the electric, it wouldn't be at an aging, conservative, independent bible church who prefer piano/organ duets, hymnals, and still wonder why we took down the chair rows and modesty panels the choir used to use.
I think you might find it surprising as well how many smaller churches do not have this same motivation to leverage technology and expertise for the worship service. Many do not have the same access to a technologically up-to-date talent pool to draw volunteers from among the members or even those for whom a slickly designed web presence is meaningful. "Stuck in the eighties" is a chuckle-inducing meme for some but is still a reality on the ground for many.

No, I'm well aware. Being around the church my whole life as a PK, and my dad always being in leadership roles beyond the church... I've seen a little bit of everything. Plus the many years of full-time ministry in various places... I've experienced a lot from all sides. I've seen many churches get stuck and refuse to move and die in the process. I know many churches find themselves there... always due to their leadership. (the REAL leadership isn't always the pastoral staff as it should be).

Lots of churches are "stuck in the 80s" unfortunately. There is ZERO benefit to forcing a church to remain stuck in the past. None of your community that you are supposed to be reaching is stuck in the 80s. Those churches simply become more and more irrelevant... but sadly, those are the usually the churches that are doing little to nothing to actually try and reach anyone beyond the faithful few that have attended there the last 50 years. I've actually heard leadership in churches like that say... out loud and without conviction... that they don't want to grow with new people. They're good with who they already have attending. Blows my mind.

I realize I just went off on a bit of a tangent, but the same mentality applies and affects the church negatively in all areas... not just the use (or lack of use) of technology.

Also, please don't think I'm pointing any of those comments towards you directly Greg!! Your church may not fit what I've seen and described here at all. And if you church did fall into any of that, it certainly wouldn't be because of you. :)

Stuck in the 1880s in some churches around here. There, churches that only use the King James Bible, all services in sung liturgy or only use the book of common prayer. But they cater to a particular group of people. However, as many of you have already stated they tend not to be evangelistic.

Yeah, we do need many types of churches to reach many types of people. But I heard it said best by a pastor that was telling other pastors to let themselves and their churches get stuck in a rut. He said a rut is simply a grave with both ends kicked out. :)

Not wishing to be a party pooper or a luddite, but the amount of resources used to create an iPad would provide an awesome amount of printed copies of music. There seems to be an irony that the suggestion to 'use less stuff' is encouraging greater consumption of raw materials that are sometimes rare and difficult to obtain, built into devices made in a distant land using large amounts of energy, instead of recyclable material that is readily renewable from local sources.

You better never buy any new clothes or products from your home either then. They're all put together in distant lands. :) The benefits and logic behind using an iPad for worship goes FAR beyond paper usage.

Other chord and lyric displaying devices are available...

If OnSong was available outside of the Apple system of devices, it would be worth playing a small amount for but, as long as formats like PDF or ChordPro are used for the charts you could bring various Android applications or programs for other operating systems to the party.

What we often do at my church is hook the leader's device up to a VGA splitter, running the output to a number of old LCD monitors so that the band can see the lyrics and chords while the leader remains in charge of scrolling and moving between songs. At present, all those taking advantage of this are using various Apple devices but anything that can provide a VGA output could be used. I use my iPad Pro but also bring along a single copy of anything not found in our hardcopy songbooks so that a glitch in the system wouldn't scupper us completely.


When I first moved to iPad and OnSong, I kept my big binder laying next to me for that just in case. After a few months of not ever needing it, I stopped bringing it. However many years later... I've still never needed a paper fallback. :)

So you don't see a contradiction between encouraging a much higher level of consumption in order reduce a minor consumption?

Yes, there are some benefits to having a device with access to an entire library of songs where the keys can be changed on the fly - I get that - but wrapping it in 'use less stuff' doesn't seem honest to me.

Wolf has a good point too - make your app run on a 5 YO android tablet, rather than the latest iDevice (does it run on windows, linux; any of the small devices laying around that could be repurposed?). I don't care about ecosystem especially, but making it only run on the most expensive devices is interesting, Especially in the light of your conversation with Greg where everyone is required to buy Apple stuff in order to be allowed to play in the band.

I can see this could go some ugly places, and that's not what I wanted to do.

I started it, and shame on me for doing so already having an answer in mind. In retrospect, my behavior appears rather trollish even to me. It can be frustrating to see others with enviable leadership support frameworks and enthusiasm from tbe congregation. There are interesting reasons to use these devices for automating administrative tasks, and if more of us already had one, I'd be recommending this path as an option. But I don't. I'm not really an outspoken fan of Facebook, either, but Messenger is currently the only conduit that carries leader/team communications. I'd be out of the loop without it.


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