Church for “digital natives.”

At Symbol

My kids are “digital natives”, born into a time where they take the explosion in new technology and connection for granted. I learn a lot about the world we live in by seeing my 14 year-old confidently upload videos onto Youtube, start his own blog and establish his presence in online communities. Social media is changing the way we see ourselves in the world today. We live in a world where anybody, even a young teenager, has the opportunity to contribute to global conversations about big issues, and to make his presence felt. We no longer leave the talking up to the “experts”. We live in a time where we have access to more information than we can ever use or process, at our fingertips, 24/7. We no longer need to educate people as if information were scarce. We live in an age where everyone can have a voice and an impact, where we all have the opportunity to contribute and participate. We no longer passively sit back and let people tell us what to think.

How do you see these changes shifting the way we do church in 5 years, in 10 years? Can the current passive model of sitting and listening to one person speak be sustainable in the midst of this cultural shift?

4 thoughts on “Church for “digital natives.”

  1. I was also considering these things, and instead of losing hope or wondering what will happen I am full of hope that the Lord will gain a young generation who will not be distracted by the large variety of gadgets and services out there but rather use these for the Lord. Smartphones today can be so distracting yet so useful, from tweeting to blogging and social networking and conference calling and skyping and everything else. Why not pray for a generation of digital natives that will usurp the enemy and use the devices, the technologies, and the web services for God’s glory?

    I am currently experiencing myself something like this. Even in the meeting, many times it is so tempting to check the mobile phone, to tweet, to write this or that. And not only me, but many others. Many times I bring my gadgets and passions to the Lord and ask Him, Lord, how about all these? Do they distract me from You, or do they help me be closer to You? I love You more than these, Lord!

    … it’s definitely a new world, with new things, much faster and always online. Lord, may You gain the Gideons of today, those who don’t “drink” from the water of this world but rather are vigilant, ready, watching, prepared to fight the enemy!

  2. I agree with you Stefan – it is important to see both the opportunities and the challenges that social networking and gadgets throw up. They can be distracting and even physically addictive – and like you, I can be easily tempted to check Twitter in church, especially around 15 minutes into the sermon! But many of God’s people are also finding constructive ways to reach out to a larger network than was ever previously possible, with the hope and beauty of God’s story.

    The biggest challenge (and opportunity) is to engage people, instead of treating them as a passive audience. That approach was ok 10 years ago, but is starting to appear out of balance in a post-broadcasting era.

    – Kathleen

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