Wired for Ministry

I’ve begun working through Wired for Ministry by John P. Jewell. While it has a practical strand, it is more fundamentally an attempt to think through the theological implications of technology for ministry. Lots of interesting insights. I’ll highlight a few things:

Three basic themes:

  • Connectivity and Connection: the difference between tools which enable connection and actual connection and community.
  • Transportation and Communication: the difference between technological means and genuine communication
  • Chaos and community: how proper understanding of ministry and technology enables us to integrate technology rather than impose it on ministry

Dangers of Technology:

  • Intrusiveness: when the technology overwhelms or hinders the message (including the glitch factor)
  • Messianic: when technology becomes the focus rather than the message

A warning:

Digitizing the church does not necessarily lead to community; in fact, there are important differences between virtual communities and “real” communities.

Obviously there is more (and the rest of the book is more positive and constructive, so don’t misinterpret these as anti-technology points), but that will wait till later.

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