In recent times the Church has been slow to venture into new technology; with many pastors siting allegiance to the good old pen and paper over an iPad. Indeed technology is often met with mistrust; but this was not always the case for God’s people. In 1454 one of these new technologies in it’s infancy was used to print the Gutenberg bible. At one point the pen and paper was a new technology, and God has embraced that in order to communicate his word. As Christian’s it is our mandate to communicate God’s loving kindness through whatever means we have available to us. Advanced technology and recent breakthroughs such as virtual reality present new media channels through which the Church can communicate the timeless message of Jesus.
VR Church is not so much about being a Church as it is about making use of technology to engage in the mission of the Church. Virtual Reality is an upcoming media channel that can be used like any other to communicate God’s words. Virtual Reality is different from many channels though in that it presents more ways for us to communicate God’s word that other channels: it is actually most similar to theatre in that respect. An important aspect of this channel is that we can communicate God’s word using different learning modalities: kinaesthetic, audio and visual learning styles are all represented and this has been shown to help with memorisation, as well as engaging a wide range of people.
So what specifically can we do with virtual reality that we couldn’t do already? Well, in a quick moment in our busy lives we can put on our VR headset and:
- Be transported to a new and beautiful place which reflects the words of the Psalms
- Be completely immersed in scenes from the bible
- Find a quiet and still place to pray and worship
- Join in a unique communal prayer room
There are a lot of different possibilities for how we might engage with God in virtual reality, what is left to do now is to get out there and present these ideas so that might be experienced and enjoyed.