Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Ineffective Outreach: Pt 2/3. Technology’s Place in the Church.

November 2, 2009

Technology’s Place in the Church:

Ultimately we have to understand that technology (however you choose to define it, I tend to be very broad in my definition as I see “technology” as any means used to get to a defined end) is simply a tool to be used by the people wishing to witness.  The best technology in the world without the people behind it to make the connection will only accomplish very little.  We cannot rely on technology to do the work for us like we did (or in some cases do) with music.   I fail to see a time when technology will ever replace “boots on the ground” when it comes to the spiritual battle front.

Outreach is always about out.  We need to forget about drawing people in.  We would do good to realize that the people will come in on their own if we are out there with them.  We would also do good to realize that we can’t always be them.  My friends in Indonesia will always be Americans.  They will never be thought of as indigenous Indonesian people.  That is not a reason for them to stay home and avoid doing that which God has called them to do.  The people in the church need to adapt the same method of thinking.  I will never be able to relate too many of the people in the various communities found in our precious country.  That should not stop me from trying to commune with even the most dangerous or vile of these people when the opportunity is given.  For that matter, it should not stop me from trying to create opportunities to commune with the people of the communities where I live and where my church is.

So that should be our 1st technology strategy.  Use technology to help us get out to more people.

The 2nd technology strategy needs to be one of interaction. The days of lecture and simply reading and accepting are going away (I’m not convinced that they ever really existed on the spiritual battle ground, despite their wide deployment).  While simply accepting lecture and literature may always have its place as legitimate methods of education, interacting with information and ideas is not just becoming normal for our culture, it is also becoming very important.  This not only applies to people that we are reaching out too, but people that we are teaching and preaching to, people who are already or on their way to becoming believers.  Going back to interacting with the information that is being delivered to the audience (as was considered critical in Plato’s day) is important if we are going reach those that we don’t have and keep the ones that we do have.

The only way we are going to accomplish the task of adding and retaining is to embrace and invest in virtually every culturally important form of communication that is relevant to the audience that God has placed around us.  It should not matter to anybody how frivolous, ridiculous, or difficult we think it is or will be.  We need to be quick to pick up the new methods and quick to dump the ineffective methods.

Part of the problem here is that many new communication platforms are shunned by the experts.  Each new technology comes out and every time some expert proclaims how this only contributes to the decline of humanity.  Sometimes they tie technological innovations to our decline of intelligence; sometimes they tie technological innovations to our spiritual depravity.  What Christian wants to believe that they are using a method that contributes to humanity’s decline?  NONE!

The church needs to ignore the experts when they decry some new communications platform.  Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, texting, the internet, the computer, the telegraph, the tv, the radio, music (broken into specific genres even!) the printing press, the pencil, even writing was new at some point.  Not surprisingly, all of these items were viewed as negative contributors to the continuing downfall man’s IQ and or spiritual condition by the experts.  This is one area where the experts are always proven wrong.

Sadly, in listening to the so called “experts”, Christians are slow to adopt and adapt to new technologies (either that or we use expert opinions as an excuse or validation to prevent positive change).  We end up idolizing the past by believing that somehow the old ways are more holy, righteous, and effective than the new ways.  We neglect the fact that it isn’t the technology that is contributing to our sinful nature; it is the content being delivered.  In our constant insistence on sticking with the old ways we ensure that today’s communications platforms are saturated with the ways of Satan and not the ways of God.  In essence, our own negligence to adopt and adapt to the new contributes to the reality that we don’t want to contribute to.

In the end, each church needs to look at what it has been given in its resource pool.  Then every church needs to turn around and give 100% of those things back to God.  Not doing something because Granny Smith isn’t favorable to the idea is a bad idea.  Moses tried this, whacked a rock, and got in trouble.  King Saul caved to the people’s desires and held onto some things and was going to give God a worship offering that that he wasn’t supposed to do and got busted.  Those of us who have been given leadership positions in the church need to be willing to be bold and stop worrying about the “old guard” so much and start worrying more about the person who may spend eternity in Hell because the church down the street ignored them.  We have a vast tool box for finding the lost.  We just need to unlock it and let those tools do their thing.


What are your views of technology in the church?

How can we (you) employ technology to get the word out?

How do you employ technology in your ministry?

What creative and unique ideas have you seen others employ that you would like to try with your ministry?


Next Monday:  Who exactly is the “old guard”?  You might be surprised!