Since I am putting this on a blog, that I promote primarily through social networking, it s fairly obvious that I am pretty fond of technology. However, I have mixed feelings about how it impacts ministry.
One on hand, technology has made ministry so much easier. You can make videos, post sermons online, share your thoughts on blogs and social media, discuss scripture and have online Bible study, and find almost any and all research on whatever spiritual topic you choose. You can learn from and reach out to people all over the world without ever leaving your desk.
It is amazing to be able to have that level of accessibility. The potential of technology-based ministry is virtually endless and we are really just beginning to tap into it. I am so excited to see how we can all use technology to advance the kingdom of God.
Yet, think about the negative implications of increased technology. When was the last time you went over to your neighbor’s house just to see how they were doing? How often do you call your friends just to see how their day was?
Because of technology, you don’t have to. You can check Facebook or Twitter and find out all you need to know about the people around you. Relationships and they way are they built are going through a very significant transition period right now, and this transition does not lend itself very well to ministry.
I don’t remember the numbers, but I heard a statistic recently supporting the fact that most non-believers that come to know Christ do so in large part because of a strong relationship they have with a Christian. And with many relationships now developing online, it is becoming increasingly more challenging to build a relationship that yields that kind of trust and commitment.
When people get to really know you, and they see Christ living in you and working in your life, they start to recognize what their souls have been longing for. If you want to truly bring people to Jesus, you need to give them your time and attention in a face-to-face setting. As we all seek to tell more and more people about Jesus through the use of technology, never forget that the foundation of ministry is building genuine, intimate relationships.