kipWhy do you love me? Why do you need me? Always and forever. We met in a chatroom, now our love can fully bloom. Sure the world wide web is great but you, you make my salivate. Yes, I love technology but not as much as you, you see. But I STILL love technology. Always and forever.

— Kip Dynamite (to his bride)

There’s really a little bit of truth in these words. When Kip sings to his bride about his love for technology, he points out that he loves her more before reemphasizing his love for technology.

My saying that there is some truth there is based on a recent Barna study on technology. It points out what may be obvious to most…  there is a trend within younger generations to rely more and more on technology to express themselves. However, one could (and should) also clearly state that our love for Christ should be greater, even though we as a society seem to really love our technology.

In fact, if you are reading this right now, then you are already a part of the technological shift that is happening in society today. Check out this video to get a better idea about how quickly things are changing…

While others have also shared the results of this Barna Group study, there are a few things that I wanted to point out. Here are a few things that I found particularly interesting (quoting from the report, with my emphasis in bold).

Even though young people are sometimes called the “Net Generation,” every age segment is becoming dependent on the Internet. In fact, because Boomers and Busters represent about two-thirds of the adult population, they are far more numerous users of technology than are adults under the age of 25. For instance, the majority of online purchases are made by those between the age of 30 and 55. And many of the bloggers, music downloaders and users of social networking websites are from the Boomer and Buster cohorts.

Age doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to reliance upon technology. This is a trend that is becoming more popular, and not just among the younger people. However…

Despite the preponderance of middle-age technology users, the nation’s youngest adults (Mosaics) are light-years ahead in their personal integration of these technologies, even blazing beyond the comfort of Busters. While Busters differ dramatically from their predecessors, Mosaics are even further down the path of integrating technologies into their lifestyles. On effect of this is that younger adults do not think of themselves as consumers of content; for better and for worse, they consider themselves to be content creators.

textingThis is an interesting perspective, and one that I don’t think that I really thought of before. Rather than being ‘consumers’ of technological content, the coming trend is for people to ‘creators’ of it. I believe that this has much larger implications on how the gospel message should be communicated online.

All Americans are increasingly dependent on new digital technologies to acquire entertainment, products, content, information and stimulation. However, older adults tend to use technology for information and convenience. Younger adults rely on technology to facilitate their search for meaning and connection. These technologies have begun to rewire the ways in which people – especially the young – meet, express themselves, use content and stay connected.

Ummm…   How well is the church getting a hold of this reality?

For church leaders, it is notable that a minority of churchgoing Mosaics and Busters are accessing their congregation’s podcasts and website. While technology keeps progressing and penetrating every aspect of life, churches have to work hard to keep pace with the way people access and use content, while also instructing churchgoers on the potency of electronic tools and techniques.

Nuff said? What do you think? How can the church harness technology, and use it to share the Gospel message? How can the church remain relevant in a world where the search for significance is moving more and more online with a group of people that desire to be content creators rather than mere content consumers? How does this change our approach to the Gospel discussion?

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Resources:
The Blogging Church, by Brian Bailey, Terry Storch

bibledude technology report

by Dan King time to read: 4 min
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