Technology & The Gospel: Can They Work Together?
Can social media be a means of sharing the good news of Christ’s love for us? Amidst all of the issues related to technology, can it still be an outlet, a modern-day avenue of reaching people that might not be impacted otherwise?
I recently found myself in a new position in ministry that I have never encountered before – being the oldest pastor in a clergy group. My most recent group of colleagues are all younger than me for the first time in my years of ministry. And I quickly realized that to grow in relationship with this group, I was going to have to use different forms of communicating, mainly texting. I am not one much for texting, other than the necessary obligations of communicating for work and with my family. To have a casual or in-depth conversation is something I tend to reserve for face-to-face or on the phone. But I have been amazed at how much connection actually takes place amongst us via texts throughout the day. I have come to realize that the things I have been somewhat skeptical of actually are a means of bonding in our group. I have found that I can encourage someone quicker with a text than a card. I can send wisdom or insight to someone through text as quickly as through a phone call. I can get a question answered much quicker. Although we still do meet in person for social and learning purposes, texting allows us to stay connected in between. I now understand the value and opportunity available through this means of technology and I am sure the same is true for other means as well (Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc.)
The Apostle Paul understood this phenomenon centuries ago in his ministry. He shares in his letter to the Corinthian Christians how he must understand where people different from him are coming from if he is to reach them. To the Jew I became like a Jew, to those under the Law as one under the Law, to those outside the Law as one outside the Law, and the same for those who were weak. Paul shares that he did this for the sake of the gospel, so that he might share in tis blessings by reaching and saving some.
We live in a world today thoroughly mitigated by technology. And whether we like it or not, it is the way of our times. We can either fight it or embrace the opportunity it may bring. I have found that becoming like my younger colleagues, I have been able to reach them in new ways. It has not compromised my faith or values in any way, only enriched my relationships.
I believe God has given us new tools to reach God’s people. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, email, cell phones or the good ol’ land lines, greeting cards and breakfast groups, all these become means by which the Spirit can work in and through us. If we open ourselves to the opportunities and not focus on the challenges, we just might find new and exciting ways to connect with others and share God’s good news of life in Christ to a world that so desperately needs renewed hope and joy!
God’s Blessings to you!
Pastor Scott Sessler
November 15, 2018
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