The Church’s most important goal is to make disciples. It’s so important we spend time, money and other resources to this end. It is easy, instinctual even, to spend time in seminary, learning how to learn from and teach Scripture. This is often a prerequisite for those who (will) lead churches. Leadership is the other skill identified as important. As a result, the church has committed significant resources for leadership development. These are important, but they only part of the puzzle of building impactful churches.
We’ve sought to have theologically astute and well-trained leaders for effective churches. Unfortunately, we, as the Church, haven’t done enough to leverage tech.
We can have the right heart and inadequate skills. Sometimes it isn’t our hearts that cripple our effectiveness but how skilled we are. No one person is good at everything. And this is why churches need to make sure to include those who can. Sometimes we need to use means we haven’t before.
Being tech-averse takes on different forms or expressions.
Being afraid of technology is one of the unhealthy ways of being a slave to it. It ought to free us to be more effective. Tech-averse organizations tend to retreat in fear and not advance through leveraging tech. Fear generally mobilizes. In this instance, the best way to address being afraid of technology is not to cower.
In the parable of the talents, the master lambasted the person who had access to a resource but was too afraid to use it. It is counterproductive to fear tech. We must seek to understand it better and use it. Fear will not help us to be faithful and fruitful stewards or an effective church in our time. There’s a reason we see people in the Bible being told not to be afraid or to be courageous, many times over. Being afraid or allowing fear to dictate what we do is anti-mission–counterproductive.
Tech is a part of all our lives. Even those who say tech is for others and not them are its beneficiaries in other ways. The basic (hardcopy) Bible is an excellent example of technology. It’s a result of the printing press, a technology, which saw great growth in biblical literacy.
Tech-averse leaders tend to steer away from anything new. Their mantra: Tech is something “those other churches /organizations/ leaders” use. We’re ol’ school and rely on the Spirit alone. God can use us, using tech for the mission of His church.
I’m a fan of tech but I get super overwhelmed too. There’s always the latest this and better that. Trying to ignore it all together can be a way to cope and even ‘keep things simple’. There are times this is more of an excuse. There are many overwhelming things in life we lean into. Doing tax returns can be much, but this doesn’t stop us from getting them done and submitted.
This is one of the most used reasons for not exploring the use of tech in church life. Costs can be restrictive. The truth is anything important finds expression in the budget. While we could say heating is expensive, we don’t ignore it. What if there was a more efficient way of doing something? Of course, most things will cost. We must remember that the mission dictates to the budget, not the other way round.
Of course, we’re faithful stewards and we count the cost. We don’t avoid technology because of costs. We ought to be deliberate in our use of tech. That is, we find ways of being effective in our mission and work out how to make it happen. Our communities and the world need a church that is unwavering in its resolve. And, where it helps, we embrace and explore how to leverage tech.
In The End
Technology is here to stay. It presents unique opportunities earlier generations of the church never had. Tech-aversion doesn’t serve the church well. The mission is way more important than our discomfort. It might take some effort figuring things out, but it is worth it.