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Did you know that there are about 9 million smartphone apps available worldwide? With the speed of technology in today’s world, it can be challenging for any leader to keep up and not feel the tension between the good and the bad things we face due to technology.
For most, there are two approaches:
There’s truth to both approaches and even in the church today, we’re seeing more and more leaders begin to get curious about the tools of technology and ask questions like, “Is this wise? Is this good me?” By stepping back and cultivating wisdom, you can honestly evaluate the deeply formative effects of technology.
Technology is one of the primary disciplers of our people today when we consider how accessible and active people are on their screens. These tools have a way of shaping the way we think about God, ourselves, and the world around us. When we cultivate a sense of wisdom and discernment to understand the good and bad things about technology, we can better view them as tools and evaluate if they’re best for our organization and team.
When battling the problems with technology, we must look deeper than just the symptoms and side effects we see. Technology has a way of shaping and forming within us good and bad habits. It doesn’t cause us to ask new questions but causes us to ask age-old questions that we’ve always wondered about as a society.
Even today, a tool like artificial intelligence has centered around the question, “What does it mean to be human?” When we ask that question and address it from a Christian perspective, we have a robust answer: what it means to be human isn’t based on the things we do but on who we are.
When approaching any technology, we should step back and ask why we need this. We lose sight of the end goal if we only view technology for convenience and efficiency. Too focused on the tools can be a detriment to human dignity; we sacrifice our primary focus to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. When we think about technology, it should be a tool to connect and bring people together.
Due to technology, our age, and our society, we are moving faster and quicker than ever, but that’s not what Scripture tells us. Things take time, and there is something honorable about wisdom that helps you gain a new perspective on the challenges we face in today’s world regarding these tools.
Here are a few things you can do to combat the traps of technology in your own life:
This is our world, but God has crafted us and placed us in this specific time to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. The scriptures are more than efficient in navigating our questions because it’s the Word of God. With hope, we can engage the challenges of our day.
Every new technology has a hype cycle. We see it featured everywhere; the news, social media, media coverage, and even our peers tend always to be talking about the latest trends and technology.
Most recently, AI has ushered in utopia or this dystopian feature that everything will change. And at the moment, that’s true – many things are changing. But it’s important always to consider that most new technologies often don’t reach the extent we are initially led to believe, especially the predicted pace and speed.
As leaders, we need to take a realistic approach. Technology is increasing, and interesting things are happening in today’s world, but we need to remember what it means to be human and how we can best utilize these tools.
We must cultivate and model for others by not rushing into innovation for innovation’s sake but by seeking wisdom and discernment. Consider how helpful, practical, and strategic specific technologies can be for your organization. For many church leaders, it’s not about convenience, efficiency, or making things better, faster, or stronger but about loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
Slowing down and having boundaries is essential when maintaining a healthy relationship with technology. Here are a few recommendations:
Due to technology, we all live with a low level of anxiety. Strive to create peace and break the mold of always having to be connected with technology. Consider if you are in control of technology or if technology is in control of you, and take steps to refocus your efforts and energy toward what truly matters.
Book You’d Recommend: From the Garden to The City by John Dyer
Last Thing You Listened To: Audio Books
Favorite Piece of Technology: Apple Watch, Kindle
Quote: “Love for another is the sum of the Christian ethic.”
To Church Leaders: Technology is not neutral. It’s shaping and forming us.
“Technology is one of the primary disciplers of our people whether we realize it or not.” -Jason Thacker
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“Technology doesn’t cause us to ask new questions; it’s causing us to ask these age-old questions that we’ve always asked as a society.” -Jason Thacker
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“Just because you see it online doesn’t mean it's true. We have to realize that there is inherent purpose and value, not only in the tools themselves but also in the messages we hear.” -Jason Thacker
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