PLUG IN AND CONNECT TO A WHOLE NEW WORLD
Technology: You either love it, fear it, or are somewhere in-between. You may also feel indifferent. No matter your position, you probably would agree that technology’s benefits outweigh its flaws. As with many things in life, there are always positives and negatives, and the advent of modern technology is no different. I heard a saying the other day: “The same sun that scorches also heals and makes things grow.” We all have our opinions about the internet and social media in our increasingly online world, but it looks like these technological advancements are here to stay. The key is to learn how to use them to your benefit, in a healthy way, without sacrificing anything in your life.
Over the years, I have done my fair share of preaching on the need to unplug — to put your phone down and grow closer to God in prayer and meditation. It’s never a good idea to waste away a day in front of a screen, be it your phone, TV or laptop. However, when the internet is used responsibly to research interesting topics (such as science, nutrition, or how to fix something), or to look up Bible verses that can help guide you, it becomes a very useful tool. The key is that you have the ability to control your consumption, which is empowering.
Our world is getting smaller with technology.
An even more enriching and exciting aspect of technology and our online world is the ability to connect with people who we wouldn’t normally be able to. The isolation of the pandemic reminded us of our innate need to be in fellowship with others and how important this is in our daily lives. As Christians, we have a huge family all over the world — people whom we’ve never met — but who we are connected to in Christ! In fact, you are part of a body of believers with whom you will spend eternity! In this Powerlines issue, we’ve got you covered in an article on how to watch Hour of Power online anytime you choose, and how to connect with people in your church family.
“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” —Ephesians 2:17-20. If you feel alone, know that you are never alone. Jesus is always with you, and He loves you. In addition to this truth, the verse above states: “…you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people…” In today’s world, you have like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ all over the planet, and you can connect with them online.
You are one click away from being inspired.
During the pandemic, when churches weren’t meeting in person, we were up and running online! Thanks to the gift of modern technology, we were able to reach people who felt lost without in-person services at their local church. We were also able to shift our junior high, high school, and children’s ministries to online platforms, which enabled us to provide support to young people and families in the midst of a trying time. What a blessing it was to host online life groups, where congregants were checking in on one another. And though we’re very happy to be back in-person, the pandemic prompted us to recognize the need to provide an option for people to join small groups online. Today, no matter where you live in this world, you can be a part of a Rooted group at SHEPHERD’SGROVE + Hour of Power.
My friend, from the young to the old, we all have something to contribute. It’s good to connect with other people, because they help you understand your purpose and empower you to connect with your higher calling. I pray that in the coming months, you’ll take some time to explore the many online options available to worship God, receive healing, and share His love with your neighbor.
God loves you and so do I!
TECHNOLOGY IS A TOOL WITH A PURPOSE
BY CHAD BLAKE
The intersection of technology and ministry is a fascinating one. On one hand, technology provides so many valuable tools, assets, and mediums through which to communicate the Gospel. Yet the flipside is that an unhealthy embrace of technology can pull us away from living in the present and isolate rather than draw us to community. Like most things in life, it’s about healthy boundaries and clear intentions; using technology as a tool rather than letting it take over our lives.
I think it’s far too easy to dismiss technology or new ways of using it as either too hard to learn or too much work, but at SHEPHERD’SGROVE and Hour of Power, we have always been at the forefront of exploring creative ways of leveraging technology for the Gospel! As we enter a streaming, YouTube, cord-cutting paradigm, we are always looking for new avenues to continue to share the love of Jesus with the world.
It’s almost impossible for me to think about technology and the church and not think about the global pandemic. In a time when we were being asked to shelter in place and avoid large gatherings, it was technology that allowed us to continue to share in community. Our livestream/YouTube presence exploded as people turned not only to “old” technology like television, but explored new means to connect. One of the cool things about YouTube is the ability to interact in the chat with others who are watching as well!
Broadcasting our church service was the easy part, since that is what we were already doing, but as time continued on, we began to launch Rooted groups virtually as places for people to connect and dig deeper into the Word of God. Those proved to be so successful that we still run virtual groups today.
It’s amazing to me that I can watch Hour of Power on any internet-connected device, anywhere in the world. I can watch on our website, YouTube, and numerous social media platforms, all from my phone if I want to. So as we continue to navigate new and exciting mediums to connect with viewers all over the world, I encourage you to take a minute and explore some of the various ways we leverage technology in our ministry. If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to check out some of the links below:
CONNECT WITH YOUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ANYTIME!!
The Bible says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” How special is it that at any given time, all around the world, so many of us are gathered in our kitchens living rooms, and bedrooms watching together? No matter what time of day it is, as a community of God’s people, we’re connected in heart, declaring His goodness and praising His Name. Even though we may not always be together physically, we have more ways than ever to listen to the Good News and grow our faith with others.
- If you’re looking for community, we encourage you to join in fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world via Hour of Power Livestream at hourofpower.live every Sunday at 9 a.m. PT; 10 a.m. MT; 11 a.m. CT; 12 p.m. ET.
- Additionally, you can watch any current or archived episodes of Hour of Power on your Smart TV by streaming it directly through the YouTube app at youtube.com/BobbySchuller or hourofpower.org/episode. Of course, you can watch on your smartphone, computer, or tablet as well.
- Not only do you have the option to watch, but also to listen. For a dose of encouragement on your morning walks or family road trip, listen to Pastor Bobby’s weekly podcasts on your smartphone by visiting Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or www.sgp.church/podcast.
Already plugged into our digital community? We’d love to connect with you on social media! Follow Hour of Power on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on all episodes and events.
Inspiring Hearts and Easing Minds…
“Bobby, let me thank your wife Hannah too for her excellent reading of the scriptures. She reads it perfectly, indicating she not only reads them, but understands them, and indeed she reads those passages prayerfully. You are a good team, working for the Lord.”
—Timothy, via email
“I continue to find hope and encouragement through many facets of your ministries throughout the years. A huge THANK YOU for what you do! I pray for many friends, family, my church and the problems of the world. For myself, I pray that I have a sound mind and good heart.”
—Marsha, New York
“Thanks for your wonderful programs and fabulous music – such talented musicians and great interviews.”
“Thank you, I enjoy watching your program. My tablet stays on TBN; you are one of my favorites and you help me so much to remember to slow down.”
“Thank you all so very much for the Hour of Power service on TBN UK. You were so kind to send me the Arnold Geis, I Walk With God CD for my darling husband Peter’s funeral, to which I was so truly grateful. I play it everyday as part of my daily prayers. My love and blessings to lovely Pastor Bobby and family, also everyone in your church.”
—Tobrita, United Kingdom
REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE’S HEART ONLINE…
Over the past few decades, we have truly become a global marketplace thanks to the modern age of technology. With this new way of doing business, people are living all over the country and the world while conducting business between states and continents. With more and more families spread out around the states and overseas, connecting face-to-face online has become a real blessing.
Never before has it been so easy to connect with friends, parents, kids, grandkids and your church family via online video chats. For many years, a phone call was our only means of communication, and even then, calling long distance was expensive! When you can’t be in person with your loved ones, connecting with them online is the next best thing!
Friend, we want to help you connect with your family and your faith community. It’s your GENEROSITY and FAITHFULNESS to this ministry that make Hour of Power possible and available to yearning hearts around the world! And to empower you to be in fellowship with even more people, we’re excited to announce our special tech offer this month! Our Hour of Power “Stay Connected” Tech Bundle or the Complete Set will get you plugged in!
“Stay Connected” Tech Bundle: For your gift of only $45 or more, we will send you three essential items that will help you plug-in to Hour of Power and your church community online. The best part is they come with a QR code, so when scanned with your phone’s camera, you’ll be directed to the most recent Hour of Power service online! Included in the Bundle is:
- Dual tablet and mobile device holder – Made with high-quality bamboo, this lightweight and compact device holder is tailored for displaying a variety of cell phones and tablets. The angled channel holds your device at an optimal angle for viewing.
- Dual USB Port Wall Charger – Insert your USB plug into one side and plug the other side into a wall outlet. It also features two USB charging ports for your convenience.
- Power Bank – Never run out of phone battery again! This portable and high-quality device features a USB charging port that lets you take the power with you. Have peace of mind whenever wall outlets are out of reach, like at airports, coffee shops, or on the go! You can charge any device that has a USB charger cord, including phones, tablets, and other small, handheld electronics.
“Stay Connected” Tech Bundle Complete Set: For your gift of only $65 or more, you will receive the following:
- “Stay Connected” Tech Bundle – Receive all three items as listed above, plus:
- Tech Accessories Carrying Case – This classy leatherette carrying case will hold all of your tech essentials in organized compartments of various sizes. The zip opening hinges out to give full access to all your items with easy viewing. No more sifting through your backpack, work bag, or purse! It’s easy to clean, waterproof, and durable — perfect for on the go!
CREATE A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT ONLINE FOR FREE!
Have you ever heard the saying “there is no free lunch,” and tend to agree with its underlying meaning that nothing is free? Well, here at Hour of Power, we really do offer a free service to assist you in creating your Last Will and Testament. Hour of Power has partnered with GiftWise, an online platform that allows you to easily create an online Will in about 20 minutes — for free. Creating a Will provides peace of mind as you plan and designate your assets to loved ones after your passing. Here’s everything you need to know:
- Go to www.giftwise.com/hourofpower.
- This online service gives you the opportunity to plan or make decisions pertaining to your health or finances in the event you are no longer able to make these decisions on your own. You can appoint a trusted person or family member as your decision maker. You can create your Will, appoint a health power of attorney, and a finance power of attorney.
- You can also support a charity of your choice, like Hour of Power, with a gift of any amount in your Will.
What is a Health Power of Attorney? This is someone you appoint in your documents to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are no longer capable of doing so yourself. You can also document your end-of-life wishes.
What is a Financial Power of Attorney? This is someone you appoint to carry out any financial decisions or responsibilities on your behalf and to manage any insurance policies, taxes, benefits, or outstanding bills. This person will also assist in managing your bond and investment accounts.
But how does this become a legally binding document? After completing the online form, you will save, print, and sign in front of a witness as well as a notary. Keep your newly created Will in a safe place. It is encouraged to review or update your will after three years more, or after any important life changes happen. Available forms are state-specific and can be updated at any time.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 714-971-4111.