In Technology We Trust?

First thing before we discuss this topic is we must clarify that we are huge advocates of the uses of technology. We are writing this post as our own personal convictions.

We get numerous posts and emails stating all the time that we have to continue to adapt to mobile and technological changes for the upcoming generation. For most of that is true, but we are coming to realize how much we are conforming to technology verses conforming our hearts to Jesus.

The bible says in John 17:14-19

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world , just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Yes we alway summarize this verse as live in the world and not of the world, and for the most part that is true. 

But when are we sharing the real truth of Jesus?

So many churches today are hiring huge teams to build internet campuses, mobile applications and more, but we are losing the real aspect of relationships with our people. Yes we live in a culture that is becoming more and more reliable to technology, and having all these applications are great. Most of the time, churches that create mobile applications, are only being utilized by other Christians and Pastors around the world. But take a second to look at the real world we live in.

Look at some of these numbers. 

Nearly 1 billion people in the world live on less than one American Dollar a day

Another 2.5 billion people in the world live on less than two America dollars a day.

1.6 billion people in the world have no electricity

Nearly one billion people in the world cannot read or sign their name.

Every seven seconds, somewhere in the world a child under age five dies of hunger, while Americans throw away 14 percent of the food we purchase.

Where are their Blackberry’s? Computer’s? or any mobile devices?

We are spending thousands of dollars on technology in our church to conform to technological culture while people are falling of the earth by the second. And to top it off we are acting as ring masters to a circus of our own Christians.

We are called to be disciples of Christ. We feel in the American Church today, we are far from this. We rely on so many aspects of technology to reach out to people, we have lost touch of what it is like to have a real relationship with someone. (Inviting someone to our homes, giving freely to someone on the streets, etc)

Technology is becoming our lazy antidote  to manage relationships with people in a world that makes it acceptable. It is so easy to hide your real feelings behind a mobile device, verses standing face to face of someone that really loves and cares about you. The more we allow people to hide, the more easy it is for them to fall into darkness. In case you don’t know the web and mobile world is filled with more darkness than light. 

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way. We need to stop making Technology our God and start putting Jesus first.  It has to stop being “Jesus plus this and Jesus plus that.”

Jesus clearly said “love one another as I have loved you.” “Love” is universal. More powerful than any form of technology on the market. It can save the poor, the starving, the rich, and so many more. Try it. People are hurting in this world and they need Jesus more than anything to save them. 

Here are some questions that leave us pondering.

With the money we spend trying to make church applications and other advances, how could we use that to reach out to the billions that have no electricity, no money, or no food?

How can we use technology, but prioritize real relationships first?

Team IML

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10 responses to “In Technology We Trust?

  1. Amen! This is why I argue the importance of understanding the demographic makeup of a church’s congregation. We cannot assume everyone lives on a Blackberry.

    IM(rarely)HO, technology should be supporting personal witness and relationships. If social media serves to generate believers, great, but we need to stay focused on The Great Commission.

  2. Yes… and.

    I don’t want to argue that churches don’t devote too much resource to serving their own internal needs. They frequently do.

    And I don’t want to argue that it’s right to limit the gospel to those who can afford the right kit. No way.

    But social media at best are about enriching personal communications in a democratising environment where all the normal clues to socio-ethno-demographics are gone, so that people can relate as equals. That’s just the kind of place Christ speaks!

    And in developing countries, the mobile phone has become a critical strategic tool for deprived communities: you can’t be cheated so easily if you can check market prices before you set out, for instance.

    And finally, for all those in our churches whose circle of friendship has moved inwards, social media present an ideal way to build up relationships and the challenge to be authentically Christian and good company in the unlikeliest places.

  3. Jeremy, Thanks for your insight, You are absolutely right, that reaching out into social media outlets are great and we need to be there as the church, facebook, myspace, secondlife, and more. Want we are presenting for many to realize is the importance in relationships with who we are connecting with. Building those relationships, through discipleship and transforming new relationships.

    I agree with the point you are calling out about circles of friendships that move inward. This is a huge issue that needs to be addressed. If inward groups could move outward, we would see a huge movement for Christ. Questions is how do we convey that concept to churches all across the world.

  4. Technology is amoral, neither good nor bad, but it can be done well or incredibly poorly. lol.

  5. Like anything, we have to go where the people are, myspace for example has 200 million registered users, will we ignore them and let them all go to hell? I don’t think so.
    We reach people anyway possible, phone, in person, by TV, by internet, by comic books if we have to, just get them to know about Jesus. 🙂

  6. Mark, thanks for your insight, and we agree, you have to go and find them wherever they are at. But the deepness of this post is once we connect with them, how do we engage our relationship with them. Sometimes we utilize these tools because we can tend to be to lazy to go the extra mile for someone. That we think just because we message them we are making them feel better about something. We agree without a doubt we have to be literate about these platforms(myspace, facebook, etc) and technologies.

    We are seeing more and more that Worship Leaders that focus on deep worship and connection with God, are leading more and more people to Christ, with Pastors that are teaching Jesus, and not some God that tells you 5 ways to make your life better(pre-fabricated material). Jesus is contagious, when people see him and truly know him, it will beat any technology on any day.
    Jesus went to dark places in the world. Technology is great for finding people, researching, but we still need to go.

  7. i see technology as one of the only ways to reach some people. I have friends who dont seem to connect offline but put them on a computer and they will hold hours of conversation.

    Though in saying that, i dont think we should only utilise technology, we have to have the face-to-face connection, it says in the word ‘do not forsake meeting together’ we should take that on board.

    I think we should use technology to try and spread the gospel far and wide but always encourage relationships offline in church and small groups.

  8. I had the opportunity last week to help as a moderator via internet to my church’s main year conference. The on live chat room was full of different types of people. The amazing thing is that everyone seem to open up their hearts more on the chat room. I know the question here is what to do with those people, how to reach them. My church is going to start having a guess service table on each service, I will be referring all the people that I met through the internet to that table and the guess service will already know the names of my online friends. For the people that don’t live on my church’s city, you can always recommend them good churches to go around their area. Imagine if we can start acting as a body of Christ instead of as a church race, being all indifferent from each other, and just start working all together to reach people to Christ. I really admire and follow the path of Churches like LifeChurch.tv, The Healing Place, Celebration Church Jacksonville, The Redeemer, cause they are starting to see this crack on the christian churches and are starting to create global events, to unify the body of Christ (like OnePrayer). Any way, I just wanted to say that I don’t think that the technology its a excuse to be lazy to go the extra mile, I think that it’s a new tool to reach people and we as Christians need to learn how to use in a more efficient way. And you know, with this in mind, now there are not excuses to don’t preach the gospel, now from your own computer you can change somebody’s life, so now, every christian that owns a computer with internet access has the opportunity to obey the grand command. I don’t think this is being a lazy christian, I think this is the opposite, this requires you to invest time in somebody’s life.

  9. Giuliana, thanks so much for your response. We agree with you that technology is the extra mile we can go for reaching people. In fact most of our team serve at Lifechurch.tv, and do we love our church. Craig Groeschel is an amazing leader that is after God’s heart, and to help encourage and develop other leaders.

    We have to keep in mind that the world is a lot bigger than the technology we use. As mentioned in our posting there are dying children right now, within minutes that are dying. We have a responsibility to help and GO. Even by giving our money to help missionaries and other workers overseas. Even here in America their are families that our losing their homes, and I don’t think they are logging on to the web if their house is being taken away.

    We have to do way more than just log on, and keep in mind when we do a lot of these church based events we are circling a lot of Christians already.

  10. Most excellent topic and discussion. We’re all about ‘saturation evangelism’ at Thomas Road, have been from day one (52+ years ago)… the latest trends of where people are and making sure we meet them is as important and going into the uttermost parts and showing the Love of Christ to a dark (non-technology) world as well… the trick for us geeks with a passion for God, is finding that balance! I look forward to following this as we all chime in with opinions, what has worked/not worked, etc.

    I think for us here (Thomas Road) my 1st call as we delve into ‘meeting people where they are’ more is to find new ways to fund these initiatives without taking from existing/working ways of reaching out, AND remembering that the tech is a TOOL and not the REPLACEMENT to contact.

    Let me briefly share an experience that combined both ‘tech’ and ‘go unto’ – something that others here may want to consider. God took me to India on a couple of short-term trips a few years ago to help a Bible School in Chennai get setup with technology & train them to teach others. They are using that tech, not only as a tool for their students, but as an outreach. Thereby earning their own ‘right to be heard’ as we say in America.

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