The last thing I need to do is to start another blog.
After all, I have a personal blog that I ignore regularly, and run a site that aggregates others writings.
And yet, I’ve realized that I have some things to share that don’t easily fit into those other spaces.
You see, I’ve spent the past thirty-five years or so pretty much enamored with technology. “Enamored” is probably too strong a word, for while I am a boy who likes his toys, I’ve also been around technology enough to recognize the limitations present in this stuff.
For a significant part of my life, technology was connected to my career. I was a professional geek, paid to massage circuits and twiddle knobs and spending far too much time in dark rooms with lots of air conditioning (even now, I tend to keep the thermostat at the level of a meat locker). Then, in a strange twist that could only come from God, I was led to a new place, following a call into pastoral ministry. Today, I am quickly reaching the day when I will have been a pastor as long as I was a technician, and I ponder the significance of that event in my life.
What that ultimately means is that I am a pastor who isn’t afraid of technology. In fact, I like to search for technological tools that help me in my ministry. Some of those are the traditional uses of technology, such as membership database applications (most of which are cumbersome and only marginally useful). Others are more on the cutting edge — Web 2.0, social networking, and all the other buzz words we hear today. The point is that I am willing to try things out and think about how technology is changing the way we engage in the practice of ministry.
Do you doubt that is happening? Well ask most any pastor today to try and write a sermon without the use of the web. There used to be a time when the pastor’s large library in the pastor’s study was mandatory, for one simply needed those print resources to research and better understand scripture. These days, most any pastor can sit in Panera, drinking a cup of coffee, and access those same resources — and many, many more. Sermon writing can be done in a completely different way through access to these resources.
Of course, there is a down side to that as well. Far too many folks succumb to the temptation to cut and paste their way into profound thoughts, using on-line sermon services which provide canned sermons for almost every scripture text. The lazy among us (and trust me, I’ve been tempted at times) can easily download a sermon and preach it as their own without anyone in their congregation knowing that they have just heard a canned speech.
What I have realized is that it is important to have a place to talk about these things, and I hope that I have some background and experience that might be helpful to you in thinking about your own use of technology.
So, hang with me and lets see where this goes. I hope that we can have some fun together, and think critically about the relationship between technology and the church.