Redeeming Technology

This post is actually a bit of a milestone for me.  it’s post 250.  WooHoo!!!

So I thought that I would use this opportunity to write something meaningful. 

Lately, I have been getting quetions about the church’ use of technology like Myspace, or blogs, or whatever, and I just wanted to write a little bit about why we use these technologies.

1.  Blogs

Why do I blog?  I started blogging when I was going through a difficult stretch in ministry.  I used it as a place to vent, to pray, and to reflect.  I felt very alone during this time, and the blog gave me a feeling of community.  Since then I have continued to blog not because I am in a dark place but because I feel like it makes me more human. 

Now before you think that I have a over-inflated ego, and I’m self important, let me just say that I don’t think that anyone puts me on a super high pastor-pedestal, and that’s a good thing.  I don’t want to be on one.  I think that’s incredibly dangerous and I try to avoid it at all time.  But my blog is a way for anyone who cares to see what I am thinking about, praying about, to see what I’m reading, to hear about cool stuff that happens in my family, to hear about my frustrations, and whatever else i find the urge to write about or link to.

Growing up I didn’t have that kind of access to my leaders and while I respect the men of God that I grew up under, I wish I knew them better than I do.  I think the blog is just one way to get to know me.

If you are reading this and you don’t have a blog, it’s a fun little hobby.  let me reccomend wordpress because it’s super easy and it has cool designs.  but that’s just my opinion. 

2.  Myspace

Creekside has a myspace page.  So does our student ministry >>beyond>>.   We just recently went public with the page because we wanted use just one more way to communicate to folks about what’s going on with our church.  We haven’t really, really developed it, but we will.  Let me give post for you my recent response to the questions that have been asked:

    1. Myspace is a cultural phenomenon, just like Radio, TV, Movies, Music, and the internet and to ignore it is to remove ourselves from culture rather than engaging culture.  And when Christians remove themselves from culture than they lose their voice in culture.  And we can’t really risk losing our voice.
    2. We cannot control what people post on their Myspace pages, or what their friends post.  We have talked to folks about what they say, and that we can all see it.  But other than that there is nothing we can do about it.  But the world is full of people who say all kinds of things, should we not try to reach them?
    3. Jesus was associated with prostitutes and drunkards, so perhaps them being our friend on Myspace, just might help them discover, trust and love Jesus Christ, which is what our mission is all about.
    4. If we are going to use the internet in anyway then we will be associating with the best of the internet and the worst.
    5. We can communicate in one more way to people who are on our friends list about what is going on at Creekside
    6. We can defend our image.  Myspace.com/creeksidechurch is ours and no one else can claim it.  So we can control what might be said about us in the future.   And that might not seem important now, but I’m praying that it will be. 
    7. It says to people who are in the Myspace culture that we are not ignoring this facet in their lives
    8. It can be used for folks to tell their friends about their church
    9. Through Myspace we have the potential to reach millions of people that we could never reach in through traditional means of evangelism and outreach
    10. We can try to be a positive influence in a place that is full of hurting lost people
  1. I’m sure there are many more reasons that we could list but I think that is enough.  But I really think that the creation of social networking websites like myspace has created the possibilities for making a huge impact for the kingdom and we might as well take advantage of it.  Yeah there is some stuff on there that is questionable but it’s worth the risk if just one person comes to Christ. 

3.  Podcasts

Podcasting hs become one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.  I volunteered to do it becuase I really just wanted a reason to play around with my new computer.  And I started just expirementing and it grew and grew.  But like Myspace, through our podcasts we can reach people around the world.  Quite frankly I have been amazed by what the podcasts have done.

The Creekside Cast has had about 100-150 downloads a week.  We’ve only really promoted it in house, and on a few podcast directories.  It’s really quite incredible considering that we are not a church that is not on the national radar, we are not holding huge conferences, we aren’t traveling all over the place telling the story of creekside.  Though someday we might, and I pray that God would give us that kind of influence, that we might be able to help other churches that are going through the same kinds of things that we are wrestling throught.

The >>beyondcast>> has really surprised me.  Let Me Preface all of what I am about to say with this statement, I am just as surprised as anyone else.  What God has done with the beyondcast is amazing and I did nothing to with this.  Last week we had 352 Downloads from all over the world.   46 from China, 36 from Israel, 2 from europe, a bunch from all over the United States.  It is truly amazing.  And let me stress, that I have had nothing to do with promoting it.  I don’t know anyone in China, I don’t know anyone in Denver, or New York.  We are a small student ministry in the corner of the US, and because we made it worth our while to invest in this technology we are making a global impact.  Insane. 

But God is good.  And all this technology comes from the creator.  We are creative because we are made in his image.  It’s sin that corrupts the creativity, but we can redeem it.  We can use it to reach te world.  If we just trust that God knows what he is doing, and he’ll get these resources to the people that he wants to get them to. 

I feel that at the verge of a major cultural/technological shift, it would be irresponsible of the church (universal) to ignore these incredible opportunities, many of them free, to reach the world.  It takes me an hour to produce the >>beyondcast>> but that hour of work reaches 352 people.  Yeah, it’s worth the trade. 

here are some links so you can get started.

Podomatic

Podomatic — Podcasting host — there is a free service and a paid service.  Start with the free service for as long as you need to, and as traffic picks up you can update your profile to the service that you need. 

Blogger — Owned by google this is a free blogging host.  It’s easy to use, and constantly improving.  This is where I started until I moved over to

WordPress — Free and paid options.   I thought it had better functionailty than blogger, and cooler designs. 

Myspace.com — A place for friends — Go ahead and see the potential of this free service.  yeah you have to put up with some garbage that’s out there, but you can chose to ignore it, and redeem the technology instead. 

Go out there and change the world.

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