For those unfamiliar with the United Methodist Church (UMC), we hold a global conference once every four years – General Conference (GC). For 10 days, 1,000 elected delegates, along with Bishops, representatives from General Boards and Agencies, and countless others with interests in the process converge from all over the world to discuss the doctrine, polity, and policies of the UMC. As General Conference has begun this year in Tampa, many of those present have taken to Twitter to share in the social sphere about what is taking place.
When I think about the future of the world, I can’t help but think about some of the visions of the future portrayed on the big screen. Are we really going to be flying around in large Enterprise-ish ships like Captains Spock and Kirk? When you think about the future portrayals of the human population, and all the technological advances we may have, do you ever wonder what the Church will be like? In shows depicting the future of the world, where is the presence and impact of the people of God?
I listened in on a webinar last week that stemmed from the information in a study on American congregations from 2010, conducted by Faith Communities Today. The original study surveyed over 28,000 congregations between the years 2000 and 2010. The webinar I took part in was designed to release and report a sister study titled Virtually Religious: Technology and Internet Use in American Congregations. This report pulls from the information gathered in the Faith Communities Today study to identify trends in technology use in American congregations.
My question, having read and listened to the report, is when will we catch up?