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[Technology] Friend or Foe?

Kurt Johnston —  December 3, 2013 — 1 Comment

I don’t know much about technology.

I rely heavily on my teenage children and the younger members of our youth ministry team to help me navigate the world of technology. And it has become a “World of Technology” hasn’t it?! My hunch is that if you were to take a snap shot of your daily routine from a decade ago and compare it to today, you would be shocked by the influence the rapidly growing world of technology has had on your personal life and ministry. 

I’ve heard people (usually older folks) bemoan technology; that it’s robbing us of our interpersonal skills, ruining our eyes, and ushering in the end of the world. And I’ve heard people (usually younger folks) talk about how they can’t imagine a world without it; a world unconnected wouldn’t be worth living in, would it?

So is technology our friend, or is it a foe?  Well, maybe it’s both!  For instance:

FRIEND: You make a dinner reservation on your cell phone.

FOE: You can’t make it through dinner without checking your phone multiple times.

FRIEND: You can instantly share pictures of airplane wings and coffee mugs.

FOE: People actually share pictures of airplane wings and coffee mugs.

FRIEND: You can play a Youtube video during your lesson with one click.

FOE: You begin to think most important part of your lesson is a Youtube video.

FRIEND: For $10 per month you have tons of television shows on demand.

FOE: You spend 10 hours on a Friday night watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Twenty years ago while attending a workshop on creativity the presenter said, “Use television to get creative ideas, but don’t let television use you. Don’t become enslaved to something that you should have mastery of.”

Hmm … maybe that same principal still works all these years later. Technology is a wonderful tool, but it’s ONLY A TOOL! Technology should enhance our life and our ministry, not dictate it. Technology should be something we learn to master, but we can’t let ourselves become enslaved to it.

Practical question:

  • Take a look at your life and your youth ministry, and the role technology plays, and ask yourself an honest question: Is technology your friend or have you allowed it to become your foe?

- Kurt

@kurtjohnston

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Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston

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Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

One response to [Technology] Friend or Foe?

  1. Agreed, it is absolutely both. Just been thinking about this topic the past couple of weeks. It can be so time consuming oxymoron as we push invitations and connections in that world then try to move kids out of that world into relationship and at the same time.

    Then we see faces connecting into the community here we don’t expect and that would probably not be here if they had not received the ‘technology invitation’.
    Good topic to wrestle with. I appreciate the encouragement I have read about setting boundaries with tech usage and time, at work and at home!
    Thank you for this challenge!

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