Technology, specifically the smartphone, has become a part of who we are, a complete extension of our thoughts and actions. Because of that prevalence, however, technology can easily become a distraction that consumes and even controls our lives. As believers, we must recognize the potential opportunity presented through our connectivity and technology and use it purposefully to fulfill The Great Commission.
Deloitte’s inaugural “Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey” reported that on average the typical United States household has 11 connected devices to view content, including seven screens encompassing smartphones, TVs, and computers. We also have access to hundreds of translations of the Bible at our fingertips. Now is the time to embrace these advancements to “make disciples of all nations” as we are called to do in Matthew 28:19.
While there are plenty of negative elements associated with technology and what it is doing to our children and society, we can change the lens through which we view the advancements being made and empower them for good. Every technological product is a blessing from God to help us bring about the Kingdom of God. We are not enslaved to these advancements, but we can harness their power and potential for God’s ultimate plan.
In order to complete the task, we need to focus on sharing the message of salvation with the tools that God has enabled humanity to use.
The most popular hashtag on social media is #love at 2.1 billion posts. Throughout the centuries, people have been searching for love and it can be found through the message of Jesus, even on social media. The Church does not have to conform to society’s “norms;” however, it’s beneficial to use technological trends to reach more people and create more opportunities to share the Gospel in a society that is searching desperately for good news. Even though the Gospel has not changed, the ways in which it is shared adapts with the digital age to reach more people. Social media platforms are used by one-third of the world’s population, which means sharing the Gospel online is not just an innovative channel for world evangelization, but rather a necessary act for the Kingdom.
In the Global Church Divinity School (wwwGCDS.tv), we teach that the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line but rather a close relationship in which there is no distance at all. The greatest ministry shift in the history of the world is taking place right before our eyes. We no longer have to go somewhere to sit at the feet of a man or woman to teach us, but we are able to learn no matter where we are, any time or any place. The world has become our campus and ministry field.
Information can be accessed faster as well. With distance no longer a factor, leaders, organizations, and missionaries can collaborate with one another, establishing partnerships that extend and grow their efforts globally.
Communication is essential in successfully sharing any message or telling any story. It is challenging to convey the Gospel when individuals cannot read God’s Word nor understand the people with whom they are talking. Advanced technology allows us to translate text, writings, and our audible words to most any language with the click of a button.
In addition, translators can be connected virtually and help overcome any language barriers by simply joining a call or an online meeting. Technology can be essential to reaching every tribe and tongue, bringing conversations about Christ and the Bible to people in their native languages. As more people can understand the Gospel, the Great Commission becomes closer to being fulfilled.
By equipping churches and ministry leaders with these resources, we are closer than ever to fulfilling what God has called His children to do before His return. As His followers, we should be ready to take advantage of the opportunities and blessings God has placed before us.
This year, GCN celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Synergize Pastor and Leader Conference, Jan. 25-27. To learn more about Synergize 2022, go tohttps://synergize.tv/.
James O. Davis is the founder of Cutting Edge International and the Global Church Network www.GCNW.tv.
Leonard Sweet is currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and a visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon.