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Friday, April 4, 2008

How Fast Can I Go?

I met with a bunch of people this past week who talked about the future. We noted the speed things are changing and tried to anticipate what will happen in the church of the future.

The problem is that tomorrow is the future. We do not have to predict things that we won't see for twenty years. Each year new technology is created that surpasses anything we have seen before. It is not incremental like the technology changes of twenty years ago. Totally new technology is created which we might never have thought of before we saw it.

These changes create a different type of person. The person under twenty has been using computers most of his/her life. He has been playing video games that require several brain functions simultaneously. She has developed relationships online with people she has never personally met. Today's youth can text message with their two thumbs faster than most people can type. They think globally rather than locally or even regionally.

I, on the other hand, understand about a tenth of what they know. They have learned it like their native tongue. I must pull my hair out to stay at a tenth.

It isn't that I am such a technological idiot. I have built several computers from parts, hacked my TiVo, written a couple of programs and regularly fix other people's ipods. In addition to an ipod I have a Zune, Gigabeat, Slingbox, laptop and desktop computer. I use several operating systems on these computers from XP to Linux. That gets me to about ten percent of what the people under twenty already know and use.

I have choices. I can ignore all of this and keep my preaching and church the same as it always has been or seek to engage these young people on the terrain they love. At the same time I must also continue to communicate with those who know as little as I do about technology.

The big question is: Can I go fast enough to realistically speak to this young generation? Church has always been a one thing at a time project for me. I am talking about communicating on a several methods of engagement level with these young people.

The fact that I don't know how doesn't change what I need to do. How fast can I go? I guess I will soon find out. After all, I started blogging, right?

2 comments:

Mule Skinner said...

You write:

"I am talking about communicating on a several methods of engagement level with these young people."

What do you mean?

Does the message change because of the technological level of the audience?

Have people really changed from what is described in the scriptures?

Prentis said...

No, it isn't the message at all. The truth will always be the truth. It is not changed by time. Jesus is the same always. It is the means in which they hear it. Paul himself said he spoke like those whom he was trying to reach. It wasn't the message but the language. The language that is spoken today is on several levels. This new young generation does not accept this just because I have said it is so. They want to think it through, text it to their friends, get responses and see if it actually works. Many of them will come to the truth. I wish that all would but that has never been true.