“Can technology disembody black worship, and lessen the faith formation of its people? ”
Through in-person and phone interviews, surveys, and communication with persons who have addressed the subject, this project will look at the usage of technology in ten urban and rural African-American churches to determine two things: One, the project will interview pastors and parishioners to determine if technology tends to aide in, lessen, or is it neutral in faith formation and discipleship formation. Two, pastors, media personnel and parishioners will be interviewed to discern what challenges and opportunities, if any, are presented for embodied worship, education, and fellowship in African-American churches by technology, especially digital/social media and online platforms?
Embodied worship, education and fellowship historically characterize African-American faith communities. Technology can harm African-American churches if its implementation lacks contextuality, an understanding of Christian Education and attention to particularities of its congregations. Additionally, faith formation and discipleship formation involve story-keeping (being faithful to biblical interpretation), storytelling (preaching, writing, and evangelism) and story-making (practicing missionality and social justice). Can technology improve faith formation and discipleship, or does it offer too many occasions to retreat into silo discipleship formation? Is technology positively or negatively influencing the methods of engagement for African American preachers and parishioners?
Through the aforementioned ethnographic means, this project will look at the use of technology by ten African-American churches in urban and rural centers in pursuit of two things: 1) To determine how a sample of pastors, media personnel and parishioners understand the role of technology in faith formation and discipleship formation considering the historical corporeal character of African-American worship; and, 2) To ascertain what challenges and opportunities, if any, are presented for African-American churches by technology, especially digital/social media and online platforms.
 The Epidemic of Biblical Illiteracy in our Churches. Christianity Today. July 6, 2015. Accessed August 5, 2019, online at https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/july/epidemic-of-bible-illiteracy-in-our-churches.html. Also see, Albert Mohler, “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy:
It's Our Problem." January 20, 2016. Accessed August 15, 2019, online at https://albertmohler.com/2016/01/20/the-scandal-of-biblical-illiteracy-its-our-problem-4/ and see “LifeWay Research: Americans are Fond of the Bible, But Don’t Actually Read it.” Online at https://lifewayresearch.com/2017/04/25/lifeway-research-americans-are-fond-of-the-bible-dont-actually-read-it/