I’ve always enjoyed technology. I was even the proud owner of one of the first iPads in Canada after having a friend wait in line for me in California and then ship it up to me in Canada. I’ve done the waiting in line for new product releases and all those fun ‘things’ computer geeks do. I’ve backed off significantly on my interest in owning technology, however, I still enjoy and value it. What I enjoy more though, is not only thinking about the implications of technology for us personally, but also corporately as a church.
When I was at Seminary, our school got a brand new computer lab. They were so proud of all these cutting edge computers and told the students that they were there for them. I asked if they would do any training for pastors on how to use computers in ministry and the response was “Why would we do that?”
Much has changed since then, but I find many pastors – new and old – are ill equipped to use technology effectively, and more importantly, to reflect on what Scripture calls us to in light of the technology we have. I think we have a good balance in how we use technology as a church, but I know individually we often just ‘use it’ without thinking why or how much. As disciples we need to be intentional in how we act and do the things we do – including how and why we use technology.
What does Scripture call us to be in relationship to technology? Can technology become an idol in our lives (cell phones anyone?!), and can the technology we have be used effectively for ministry? These are all great questions, and just the start of a long list of questions we can ask. In my studies, I wrote a paper on reflecting theologically on how and why we want to use technology. The one thing I learned is that we wish to reflect on the what and why we do things, but the urgency of just ‘doing it’ overwhelms that.
In ministry, I find that this is the reality in our lives in all areas – not just with technology. Scripture calls us to be a people who take a day of rest. We are called to “Be still and know that I am God”. When we are just living on ‘cruise control’ and not reflecting on how Scripture impacts our lives – the decisions we make and choices before us – we need to recognize that life is spiralling away from God and need to find ways to reset our lives so we have space to listen, reflect, and act on what God is saying to us.
Peace and Grace,