One of the marketplace realities besides time that we will never go back to the way things used to be is technology. Here are some of the challenges and opportunities we have before us:
Today a young person wanting answers about religion, purpose & meaning in life can just Google it. In the Bing search engine I found 761 million different sites for the word “religion” and 173 million for “Christianity”. Some may take a fatalist attitude about technology and the internet and just say, “Forget it.” I want to suggest that the internet can be a tool for you and your church to provide Biblically based, purpose driven ministry for those who are searching. Set up a website and a Facebook page and provide helpful thoughts about Biblical passages you are studying in Sunday School/Bible study as it applies to life and meaning. Let people know when these Bible study classes are offered.
Use technology to go deeper in your SS classes. Provide follow-up questions, videos, and reflections from the lesson during the week. Use Facebook, e-mails and texting to keep your Bible study group thinking about the passage through Thursday. (Hopefully by Friday they are reading the lesson for the next Sunday!) For videos, check out God Tube. (For example, if you are teaching a lesson on seeing people’s needs in a busy world, you may want to ask them to see the video “Get service” which is on Youtube and God Tube. Give them opportunities to learn throughout the week and not just the 45 minutes or so you have them on Sunday morning.
Use technology as a form of soul care. Invite people to share prayer concerns and challenges throughout the week with others with the same technology. I often e-mail a pastor and ask how I can be praying for them this week. Use the technology for your class. Not everyone has internet, but most have a cell phone and texting possibility.
Use technology to start a class for college away students and military. One of the things I have noticed recently is young people using technology like Google Plus “circle of friends” to do Bible study. Why not offer a class online that fits the college students’ schedule? I know of one such group that meets on Thursday nights in their dorm rooms/apartments by video in three different states! Today we have the opportunity to include military stationed in other places to join their Bible study class by Skype. Can you imagine the experience of seeing and talking to one of your own in Bible study by video? Take advantage of it!
I pray you will consider how technology can be used to further the Kingdom of God, and let me know what you are doing. I would love to hear from you.