Beware the Recommend Button!
Computers to merge with humans?
That's probably a misleading headline, but the idea that we will use machines more and more for tasks is almost certainly going to be true. It already is. But it's not necessarily an unqualified good thing. The article mentions 'the widespread introduction of the calculator - widely blamed for a fall in the standard of mental arithmetic'.
Now, how is this relevant to my project? Well, actually that calculator example is a perfect example I want to use.
As we now use calculators, we have far less need for mental arithmetic. Yes, there is still a place for it, but surely there's no denying that so many of us just don't have the mental arithmetic skills we could have if it wasn't for calculators & other machines that can do maths for us.
In the same way, there is a very real danger that using programs like my own PSALM could blunt 'worship-leading' skills. In my own experience, I have found that having PSALM available to use means that I can be less reliant on my own memory of songs, and worse, less reliant on 'Spirit-led' worship.
Now if you're reading this blog from the technical point of view, and don't understand what I mean by 'Spirit-led worship' - I apologise. This post is really aimed at potential users of the software, 'lead worshippers' in churches. I'll warn you now that this post will begin to get a bit theological (controversial?!) from here...
But if you do know what I mean by 'Spirit-led worship' - or think you should - read on.
PSALM has a role in finding that song that you can only a few lines of, or perhaps in finding songs that fit a certain theme while being in the right key. Great. But leading worship should not be a computer's job. God should conduct our meetings, using us by his grace. Choosing songs, for example, should not be a case of 'this is my favourite song... and this next song follows on nicely'. Instead, we should be prayerfully asking God what He wants to emphasise/do/'anoint' in corporate worship.
So anyway, the purpose of this post is to warn against becoming reliant on technology such as PSALM, or anything that could reduce God's role in worship. If you're using PSALM, or thinking about it, be carefu! Watch out for changes in the way you prepare/lead/engage in worship. Better worship does not necessarily come from better prepared, or slicker transitions between songs!!