While technology creates many exciting opportunities to expand ministry, it also presents dangers that ministry leaders need to be aware of. In his book Digital Disciple, Adam Thomas breaks down the dangers of a digital society while offering helpful suggestions for how we can make the most of the opportunities new technologies present to us. Thomas spoke with Laura Leonard, associate editor of BuildingChurchLeaders.com, about how these principles apply to ministry leaders.
As a Christian and a leader, what does it mean to use technology well?
As a follower of Christ, I have to be diligent at following him in all facets of my life. The fastest growing new area of existence is the virtual existence. I have had to increase my awareness of the presence of God when I use technology, the Internet especially. I discovered a couple of years ago, much to my chagrin, that when I would go online for extended periods of time, I would unconsciously shut off the part of my brain that searched for God. Somehow I decided that God wasn’t there; I wasn’t looking for him. But now I try to incorporate into my virtual existence all of the things I do in my physical existence in practicing the presence of God. I found that online, it can happen just as well as it can in real life. The barriers online that don’t exist in real life have to do with embodiment–not being able to be with the other person that you’re engaged with face to face. That kind of challenge is an added dimension that makes practicing the presence of God online harder. As I say in my book Digital Disciple, there are tremendous opportunities for connection online, but every connection comes attached with the danger of isolation. So we have to work on moving toward those connections and not ignoring the nature of those dangers. If we believe that God is who God says God is, then we have to believe that God is in all things, including the things that humans have created, like virtual reality.
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SOURCE: BuildingChurchLeaders.com & Christianity Today International
Interview with Adam Thomas