How are we communicating?
On the drive home (7ish hours in case you are interested) I had the live session for my online class at Boston University School of Theology. Usually I'm at my computer for these sessions but since I was on the road I had to call into the class (complete with hands-free headset in case you were worried). It was slightly more difficult to interact with the class without the webcam but not impossible. I felt like I could contribute to the discussion without too much difficulty... until most of the people in class started discussing topics via the chat box instead of verbally. The professor tried to keep me apprised of what they were saying as they typed but I still felt left out. I felt disengaged. I wanted to participate fully but could only understand bits and pieces of what was going on.
How often in our churches do we use outdated technology and communication methods that only reach certain people? The kids in the schools in my community are blessed with smart-boards in their classrooms and Chrome books to take home. And we are trying to reach them with a projector that doesn't display colors properly and without an app for their phone? Are they hearing our message?
I'll flip this argument around for a minute. Maybe we are using the best technology but forgetting that not everyone has access to it or uses it in the same way (I've heard some people only use their smart phones for phone calls - crazy huh?). Are we fortunate to have someone like my professor to bridge the gap and engage them in the message so that they can still participate?
I'm glad I was able to attend the conference and learn some innovative ideas but I'm also glad that God spoke to me on the way home and clearly reminded me that our technology is important but His message is the reason we use new technology to reach new people. Keep scattering seeds in new ways and remember that the message is clearest when we are face to face.
Until Everyone Hears,