Posted by: pastordarren | July 30, 2012

The Changing of our World

Lately, I have been thinking about the way that the world is changing so quickly and how the church is or is not adapting to it and should it.  This past weekend, Leonard Sweet on a facebook page, posted a quote that further impressed on me the way that the world is changing around us and the speed at which it is changing.  Part of the quote is below.

From a book called Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think (Free Press, 2011) by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler: “Two decades ago, most well-off citizens owned a camera, a video camera, a CD player, a stereo, a watch, an alarm clock, a set of encyclopedias, a world atlas, A Thomas Guide, and a whole bunch of other assets that would easily add up to more than $10,000. All these come standard on today’s smartphones, or are available for purchase at the app store for less than a cup of coffee. IN this, our exponentially enabled world, that’s how quickly $10,000 worth of expenses can vanish.

The more I thought about this, the more it amazed me.  My smart phone has more computing power than many computers of 20 years ago (even 10 years ago in some cases), will do so much more than just call including email, texting, gps, games, pictures and videos.  This technology has in a very real way rewired our society and the way in which we do business and live our lives.

This is just one instance of the exponential change that is happening around us and with in us, and I think that the way in which we respond to it will dictate the way in which we move forward or backward.

Within the church (because that is my calling), many times these new realities will not be acknowledged or if they are they will be looked upon as changes that we need to reject and avoid at all costs.  I hear things such as these, “If it was good enough for me then, it is good enough now.”; “I like it that way.”; and the dreaded “We’ve always done it that way before.”  By saying these and other similar things, the new reality we live in is dismissed.  There is truth, though, that some people will not participate in some of the reality changes by choice (they don’t purchase the latest technology, etc) and that is ok for them.

What happens though when we, as the church, want to reach out to who, I believe, Brian McLaren calls ‘Natives’ in this digital and new reality.  These natives are people who don’t know a world without the screens and technology.  They get their information, news, and interact with people, near and far, based on and through the technology that is part of their lives.  People used to talk about the 5 year old who could program your VCR (remember those?) and now we are streaming videos and live news on demand to our cell phones and pads.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know it is important to at least ask the questions.  I think too that the answers will be different between different congregations, but the questions need to be asked first and not pushed by the wayside.

As the church, I believe that our message of God’s Love and Forgiveness must be forefront.  We can not lose sight of that and it must be shared in a way that is understandable, that is in a way that will be heard.  If we don’t, we will be like trying to follow an event and not understanding the language of the broadcast.

What are the questions you want to ask in your setting?  What are the answers that you are hearing?

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