Mission in cyberspace
How should churches be using new media? Geoff Felton surveys the opportunities and risks of electronic mission
Technology is something we cannot avoid and it is changing how we live our lives. A survey by Ofcom in 2014 found that Britons now spend more time on media devices than they do sleeping. This rapid change has huge implications for how we interact, work and relate.
When Jesus was asked: “What is the greatest commandment?” his reply centred around relationships: To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbour as yourself. So we have to explore the use of technology in the framework of developing relationships with God and with each other. The Bible shows God as a communicator who calls his disciples to communicate. So, how might we use of social media as a tool for developing relationships across the church, into our communities and with God?
Many people in church are torn between the old and the new. Should new technology such as social media be used? How far should we embrace it? I recently heard of an enthusiast interrupting a church meeting protesting that mobile technology used in the service undermined community and respect. “This is what we need – the Bible,” he declared, waving the book above his head. And yet, a printed version of the Bible was once the height of technology; the fact that it sits unobtrusively under pews in today’s churches belies the battles that were fought to bring it to the masses during the Reformation…
This is an extract from the September 2015 edition of Reform.