Two and a half years later, we are finally getting back into the rhythm of face-to-face gatherings. Yet many still choose to participate virtually.
Video conferencing, audio calls, text messaging and livestream were life-sustaining during the pandemic. In those limited circumstances, what we had was very good. Many even testified of the ‘harvest’ of new viewers from our virtual services.
But now that we can resume face-to-face gatherings, the church pews reveal the true reality.
Virtual engagement worked for a season, but those were under exceptional circumstances. We must not look at its success and excuse ourselves from the principles of God’s Word.
The church is not to forsake the assembling of the saints. Paul exhorted the church in a time of Roman persecution. What more in our present time of freedom? We must push back the excuse of convenience that ensnares our flesh.
The end time prophecy tells us the enemy will do everything in his power to take away sacrifice. As disciples of Christ, sacrifice is part of our obedience and worship to God. If the enemy can take away sacrifice, he will take away our worship, devotion and love for God.
Dangers of Technology
Technology is here to stay, and it is imperative the modern-day church uses this tool available to us. But while technology is a good tool, it cannot replace God’s divine design.
In deciding how and what types of technology to use, we must also know its dangers so we can protect against them.
Here are some dangers of technology:
As T.S. Eliot put it, “We are distracted from distraction by distraction”, and he said that almost 70 years ago! Since then, things have only worsened. The generation’s attention span is now only 15 seconds long. Paying attention is a huge challenge.
- Instant gratification
With electronic media, information travels at light speed and, along the way, it accelerates our expectations of just about everything. We are no longer willing to wait for anything.
Social Media promotes self. Narcissism creates a grand alternative persona to compensate for or shield one’s true self from exposure. In turn, it breeds shame and deception.
Despite the development of two-way media resources, most people use media for passive consumption. This passivity results in living vicariously through others rather than living yours.
- Mental lethargy
Our mind is fatigued from the constant bombardment of information. Our brains are always on alert and this drains our brain of energy or stresses it out. This fatigue leads to a lack of motivation and indifference towards daily activities.
As we use technology in our goal to reach the world, we must not forget the ways of God. Disciples need to learn how to wait on God and be still in His presence. God’s purpose and mission need whole hearted dedication. We are to seek God’s glory rather than our own.
We need wisdom in this time more than ever before.
Guide to Safe Social Media Use
While we use social media to increase the awareness of our churches, we must also do it wisely.
Here is a simple guide to safe social media use for our churches:
- Don’t provide too much information. While you can interact with friends, social media is also a place that attracts deviants, predators and identity thieves.
- Understand privacy settings. Customize them to get the right balance.
- Protect your photos. Limit public access to photo albums. If minors are in pictures, ensure not to include their names in the captions. Ensure a link is secure before clicking on or reposting it.
- Decide what information is necessary to reveal. Do not broadcast the location of a student/children event in advance of the event. Do it only after the event is over.
- Think before you post. Ensure links are secure before re-posting them. Church leaders represent the church and its leadership. Their social media life must reflect the church and its values.
Pastor and leader, let’s take a look at our use of technology. In areas we are lacking, let’s look at how we can begin employing these tools for the Kingdom. For those who are already using social media, it’s time to evaluate.