Ministry Technology

Technology & Ministry: Benefits, Drawbacks, and Dangers

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In our previous installment, we saw that human culture and technology are a necessary part of the creation mandate and as such should not be viewed as necessary or intrinsic evils. Moreover, we argued that religion is part of human culture, and it will, therefore, employ some of the tools of culture. But before we suggest some ways in which we can use modern technologies to advance the Great Commission, I’d like briefly to highlight the tension that exists between the benefits, tradeoffs, and dangers of technology. We’ve noted that human technology brings with it certain benefits or, to use a biblical term, “blessings.” Nevertheless, over and against those benefits and blessings, we need to be aware of the resultant tradeoffs as well as the potential dangers that new technologies introduce.

Lessons from the Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution brought with it many benefits. Various kinds of manufactured goods become more available and affordable. Many of the things produced by factories facilitated the services of other vocations and even occasioned the need for new vocations. As a result, many new jobs were created and people employed.

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The Cutting Edge: Technology & Church Ministry

All churches employ forms of modern technology to assist them in the tasks of outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. This raises the question as to whether the Bible provides the church with any guidelines or principles for choosing and using appropriate forms of technology in carrying out her Great Commission. I believe it does. One key text in this regard actually comes from the Old Testament. I’m thinking of Ecclesiastes 10:10, where we read, “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed” (Eccl 10:10, NLT).1

Keep the Edge Sharp

An axe is a product of human technology, designed to assist man in subduing the earth. The implication of this text is that people should not only employ the right technology in carrying out their particular cultural task; people should also keep such technology well-honed and up-to-date in order to increase their productivity and likelihood of success. With a touch of humor, Douglas Wilson remarks,

We see in this proverb a little Solomonic understatement. That boy is trying to chop down a tree with a baseball bat. If a man stopped to sharpen the ax, he would get through the cord of wood a little faster. If he undertook a little maintenance, the car would run longer.2

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Five social media trends churches should know about in 2020

"2. People are moving from public spaces to private spaces....These days, private social media spaces are starting to get a lot more attention. Features like Facebook Groups, Instagram direct messages, and apps like Snapchat all continue to grow in popularity." - BP News

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Beware the Technological Imperative: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

"When I think of ministries and organizations and their technology support needs, I often question if we are supporting things we should support or supporting things we shouldn’t even be attempting. My computer can support up to 12 monitors, does that mean I should, or I should add that support load to someone else so I can have 12 monitors?" - Church Leaders

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Don’t Listen to the Negative Buzz — Here’s the Case FOR Church Apps

"As your church member sits at the Department of Motor Vehicles waiting for their number to be called, they pull out their phone and look at their screen. Sitting between their social media app and some puzzle game is your church’s app. That app is a reminder of the mission, the church, the family they belong to." - Church Leaders

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