Nov 5, 2010

Christians and Technology: Part 2 - Attention and Presence

We are never going back to a day without the internet, Facebook, Twitter, texts, smartphones, Ipads, etc. Technology is here to stay. F

The question is, "Should Christians use technology differently than others because Jesus is Lord?"

There is no doubt that technology can be used as a tool to improve life and community. Facebook, Twitter, and blogging is allowing conversations and interaction with people that simply wasn't possible even a decade ago. 

When San Francisco Presbytery was debating the ordination of Lisa Larges, hundreds of presbyterians from all over the country were able to, not only follow along, but participate with one another in the actual debate in real time through Twitter. 

While technology is opening up new frontiers in communication and in building community, we have also seen technology used poorly. Technology can disrupt and harm community.

How should Christians use technology differently because Jesus is Lord?

One of the general rules of thumb we can apply to how Christians use technology is the rule of presence. Whenever Jesus was with people, he was fully present to them. Jesus gave him undivided attention to the people in his presence. 

  • Even when there were hundreds of people crowding around him, Jesus knew that there was one woman who had been bleeding for 12 years who desperately needed healing. 
  • Even though the crowds never saw Zacchaeus on the sycamore tree, Jesus knew he was there and gave Zacchaeus his undivided attention.
Jesus always seemed to know the people who were seeking him out. And whenever Jesus was in the presence of people, they received a 100% of him.

Being fully present...giving our complete attention.

The rule of thumb in how Christians ought to use technology is that we ought to be fully present with the people in our presence. This means that when we are with our children, spouses, friends, coworkers, etc. we give them our full attention by putting away our smartphones, ipads, laptops, and other gadgets and be fully present with the people in front of us. 

We can always find time to tweet, update our Facebook, email, or text at a later time. 

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story that said that attention was the single greatest commodity in our world. 

As Christians,  our interaction with people ought to be different as we make ourselves fully present to the people around us. 


3 comments:

robert austell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Kim said...

Check out http://robertaustell.blogspot.com/2010/11/online-ministry-tech-review.html for a review of the tech tools available.

robert austell said...

Excellent - just because we can use tech doesn't mean we should. For every season... a time for texting and a time to set to silent. :)

I'm blogging on various tech apps to use in ministry - your post makes a great companion piece and I've linked to it in the comments of the first in the series: techreview

Robert Austell - Charlotte, NC
Lighthouse-Searchlight Church