A New Series: The Ministry of the Word in the 21st Century

15 Jul

800px-St_Patricks_Church,_Ballymagorry,_May_2010_(17)I have been thinking for some time about how to effectively bring the Scriptures to the people in my congregation and beyond. For all the changes in the 20th century, the 21st century seems to be picking up right where we left off at Y2K. The way we live now, particularly in the way we gather and use information, is very different from how we were living even 13 years ago, when we turned to a new century.

We have seen the demise or downsizing of newspapers and print magazines and the rise of Facebook and Twitter and the blogosphere. E-mail now seems quaint, even though we still use it. Text messaging is the king for now, but soon will be replaced by something else. Even television has been impacted,our screens are bigger and flatter, our pictures are crystal clear and many people have moved away from traditional TV into streaming of content. And of course, there is the cell phone, which has transformed over the last few years from a glorified walkie-talkie to a palm-sized computer.

In the Christian world, the changes of technology have also had a profound impact. From websites and blogs which deeply influence Christian culture, to well-known pastors making their sermons available for free, to online debates over theology, to the online release of written content from the history of the church, we live in a world of incredible possibilities from an informational standpoint.

The problem for Christians (and for others as well) is not a lack of information, but its assimilation and application. Do people get lost in the shuffle, or are there ways to use technology for the furtherance of the gospel? Over the next few days I am going to be making some observations about how we can use and be used by technology, particularly in our efforts to teach and preach the Bible. If you are reading and have questions or comments, I welcome you to use the comments section to further the discussion.

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