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Technology’s Impact on Mission



Technology’s Impact on Mission

J.C. Thompson |






Technology’s Impact on Mission

LIT – A Christian Perspective on Technology – Message 3

May 3, 2020


Introduction


  • Hello, my name is J.C. Thompson and I’m the Family Pastor at Brookwood Church.
  • I’m so thankful that you’ve joined me today as we are continuing our series titled LIT – A Christian Perspective on Technology
  • We are defining technology quite broadly in this series to help you understand that technology is more than just electronic devices.
  • Technology describes the tools that we create and use to make our lives better.
  • A shovel is an example of technology and so is the prayer app that you may have on your smartphone.
  • Last week we discussed the affect that technology has on our relationship with others.
  • This week we will focus on how technology affects our mission and outreach as followers of Christ.

 

Technology impacts my Mission by…

 

MULTIPLYING my influence. (Matthew 28:18-19a; Luke 10:25-37)


  1. Matthew 28:18-19a (NLT)Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…”
  2. The goal of a Christian is to glorify God in all that you do. To go and make disciples of all nations.
  3. Technology gives us the opportunity to communicate the gospel around the world.
  4. Just this week I sat down with Mike Hepola and Gene Beckner and we discussed being able to communicate with our international and domestic mission partners. You can listen to our conversation on Facebook under the videos tab.
  5. Mike shared being able to talk to his partners and see the effects of things like natural disasters and completion of projects. Brookwood is partnering internationally well through the use of technology.
  6. Technology can positively affect your head, heart, and your hands.
    1. Head – You can use the internet or an app to memorize scripture more effectively, do in depth study using online tools, or hear strong biblical teaching online.
    2. Heart – Technology can expose us to things that move your heart and emotions. Stories and songs and art that move us. Seeing paintings, hearing stories of life change, and listening to worship songs that change your perspective. They give you a taste of being able to see things that you might not be able to see in person.
    3. Hands – Technology can improve your skillset to do your job better.
    4. Agriculture – cotton gin, combine harvester, or even the ability to refrigerate food are all examples of innovations in technology allowing us to do your job more effectively
    5. Every industry has these innovations, they allow us to do our jobs with more excellence and in a productive fashion which is one of the ways that we can glorify God.
  7. Technology can be a way that we increase our aptitude at our jobs, our ability to know God and ourselves, and can increase our compassion for others.
  8. APP: Are you using technology to grow your influence with others? Text messages, emails, cakes, cookies, wood projects and work well done are all ways to grow your influence with people in order to share the gospel with them. Then share how Christ has worked in your life with them.

 

MISTAKING scale for success. (Matthew 28:19b-20; Luke 12:13-21; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 10:31)


  1. By scale here I am speaking of a large group gathering or a large group of people.
  2. Matthew 28:19b-20a (NLT) “… baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”
  3. You can see how one can take the go of verse 18 and miss the baptize and teach them all the commands.
  4. Teaching someone how to follow Jesus is a slow and long process.
  5. If you’re a parent, you realize how slow the teaching process is.
  6. I was talking to my son Cannon the other day about some chickens a friend of his owns. He said, “Dad, they are already walking. They are just a couple of weeks old.” I then told him it took him almost 2 years to walk!
  7. But while the process to learn certain skills takes time and effort, the amount that a child is learning from birth – 5 is astronomical. Some studies say that children in this age group will learn 90% of what they will learn in their entire lifetime by age 5!
  8. Yet in the moment things like eating, walking, sleeping properly, and even putting on pants one leg at a time can seem excruciatingly slow.
  9. So is learning to be a follower of Jesus. But you must be willing to spend the time to help people grow in their relationship with Jesus. This long slow process of learning to be like Jesus and obeying His commands is what we call discipleship. That is one of the measures of “success” or maturity for a Christian.
  10. But there is a temptation to only fulfill the “Go” part of the mission from Christ. Get more in the building, or to watch your services. Get more ears to hear your sermons. Grow and Go.
  11. But, if you’re not careful you might miss the individual person right in front of you searching for a bigger crowd.
  12. You can see this temptation everywhere. I hear middle schoolers talking about how many followers a person has or doesn’t have on social media.
  13. We look down on “influencers” who only have 100 followers.
  14. To influence one person deeply is way more effective than someone who reaches 1000s in a shallow way.
  15. These influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers are telling you where to spend your money, your time, and how you should feel about yourselves without even knowing who you are!
  16. You know inherently that bigger does not always equal better. It’s why you are aware of the classroom sizes at your children’s school. You want your child’s teacher to have significant influence over your child’s education.
  17. When Jesus urges you to look for the lost sheep, He leaves 99. When you think about that decision, it is not a helpful one for a shepherd concerned about money or herding the biggest flock. But it is the most helpful thing for one concerned about honoring the owner of the sheep.
  18. But Jesus wants us to understand while He is aware of the size of the group, He cares about the individual person.
  19. The gospel comes to each of us individually through the Spirit of God.
  20. You might be worried about how many followers you have, but you might be better served by asking, how many of your followers know you? Success is based on life change and comprehension.
  21. Don’t believe the lie of technology that easier, faster, or bigger is better.
  22. APP: Is bigger, faster, more a temptation that you struggle with? Ask God what he thinks of your ambition. Who are you investing in and are you frustrated by how long it’s taking them to grow?

 

MISDIRECTING efforts (2 Peter 1:5-8. C/R: Job 28:1-28; Luke 10:40)


  1. 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT) In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
  2. We do expend effort as followers of Jesus. But if you look at this passage, your effort involves your morals, knowledge, self-control, ability to endure difficulty, godliness, affection, and love. These characteristic take time and intentional effort to develop.
  3. This effort develops character that makes us productive and useful for sharing Christ, encouraging one another and loving each other.
  4. We must place our time and energy into personal contact, building relationships intimately so that our message becomes reliable and our character grows.
  5. You might misdirect efforts for a few reasons:
    1. Insensitivity to the need of others. Do you ask more questions of people to discover what they truly believe about themselves, God and the world or just talk? Are we interested in the well-being of others more than our self?
    2. We fear rejection. You might be afraid of how others might react to you or how you think you might be perceived by slipping up and saying the wrong thing.
  6. Technology exacerbates these hesitations by shielding you from what really needs to change. Your heart. We watch television instead of having that hard conversation. We search for a new show rather than spending more time with God or our family or in prayer.
  7. We also spend far more time researching a subject than participating in it. We do this with things like Bible study, prayer, or sharing the story of Jesus.
  8. You might spend hours, days, or weeks trying to pick the perfect Bible translation, when that time could have been spent reading the Bible.
  9. The same thing happens with projects at your home. Any of you starting a garden during the quarantine? Watched some videos on how to take care of these plants you bought at the store?
  10. I Facetimed my dad and showed him my garden. He could tell me every plant just by looking at them. I was sharing my struggles with some of the seeds not sprouting and he told me those plants take more patience. His father was a gardener. He knew these things like the back of his hand, from years of experience in the garden.
  11. If I only researched the books or watched the videos, not only could I have messed up the garden, but I could have also missed out on an opportunity to learn from someone in my life who is an expert. My dad.
  12. The disciples went through this process with Jesus. As they followed Jesus it created opportunities for learning where they asked questions.
  13. I love the questions that the disciples asked Jesus. Here are a few.
    1. “Why could we not cast them out?” (Matthew 17:19; Mark 9:28)
    2. “Who then can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25; Mark 10:26; Luke 18:26)
    3. “Why was this man born blind?” (John 9:2)
    4. “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” (Luke 22:49)
  14. What might be more incredible to me than these questions, is that Jesus, the Savior of the World, trusted them to journey with Him. He had patience with them, coached them, taught them and sent them out to do actual ministry.
  15. Learning to be a disciple of Christ takes practice, over a period of time.
  16. My mentor says, “J.C., somebody let you sorry all over somebody before you got good, you need to do the same for others.”
  17. While I don’t know that I’m good, I do know that I’m learning and I’m so much better than when I began teaching. Not only by practicing, but also by listening to the people that I can watch up close and personal.
  18. Jesus did this with His disciples and He does the same for us.
  19. The most important things in our life cannot be rushed, they must take time.
  20. Don’t trust that the phone or television or internet can teach you better than someone you know personally.
  21. Technology can cause you to place more of your time and energy into your reputation or your research than the long, hard work of building relationships and sharing Christ with them.
  22. APP: Are you willing to practice the long, hard work of building relationships and sharing the story of Jesus with others?

 

Conclusion:


  1. I hope that this series has been helpful. I want to share with you a couple of resources if you want to take this conversation further.
  2. The Tech Wise Family by Andy Crouch – is a great resource for families. Highly recommend this resource for all parents today. If you have teenagers, read this with them and ask questions and share stories as you read through the book.
  3. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke – great for personal growth in learning how your smartphone might be affecting you.
  4. For me, I hope that you are encouraged to use the tools that Christ has available for you to improve your witness and influence.
  5. But also, be aware of the tradeoffs.
  6. Most importantly, be aware of the temptation for any technology to be an idol.
  7. Lastly, as we continue to be in this environment of isolation and social distancing, I pray that you would spend some time with God and talk with Him about what feelings this situation has raised in you.
  8. I pray that some of you might be more keenly aware of your need for Christ.
  9. If that’s you and you’d like someone to connect you to Jesus, just drop a note in the comments that says “Help me” or you can click “Connect with us” on our website to send us a private note.
  10. Let’s pray.

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