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Church Communications

Contending for the Faith in a Wildly Disruptive Age

Three stories in the news this week brought home again that the world is experiencing change unlike anything past generations have experienced.

1. 1Gbps Wi-Fi coming to a billion devices by 2015

2. What the experts think about the viability of an Internet kill switch

3. Christian broadcaster gets the Canadian boot

Again we see that communication technologies are a driving force of change. Technological change brings social and cultural change. And not all change is good.

You will find plenty to think about in these posts.

Rate of change

There has always been change in the world. The difference now, is that the rate of change is speeding up.

Physician-futurist Richard Swenson explains that progress is biblically normative yet born into a fallen world. “Functionally, it works by giving us more and more of everything faster and faster,” he says.

The change today is explosive and wildly disruptive. The mathematics incomprehensible. Changes that used to take a hundred years to occur, with only word of mouth and slow travel, now with the Internet may only take a few years.

What’s next?

It hardly seems possible, but the pace of change is going to go even faster. So buckle up, hang on tight, and get ready for the ride of your life.

In the Digital Age, contending for the faith will include contending with change. Recognizing these four things can be a help to keeping our feet on solid ground and our focus on aiming for God’s best.

I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. Jude 3

First, there is no change with God. “I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6) The Internet is not unlocking any mysteries of life for an unchanging, unchangeable God. We can trust a Father who never goes back on His Word.

Second, there is purpose to every change on earth. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ (Isaiah 46:10) If we are to understand what God is doing through change, we will need to seek Him daily for clarity, guidance and strength.

Third, massive global change brings a sense of urgency. ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.’ (Ezekiel 33:11) There is no way to know for sure if we are living in one of those momentous times of great significance to the advancement of God’s kingdom. However, we do know that there are unprecedented opportunities for using technology and media to spread the gospel. Christian communicators should aggressively pursue every tool while the doors are open.

Fourth, painful changes and setbacks shouldn’t discourage us. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9) Disappointments will occur. Doors will close.Through prayer and worship and a persevering faith, there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome.

Stay fixed on God’s eternal vision in this ever-changing temporal world. And as you do the work to which God has called you, be strong and take courage in these words of Jesus; “Remember, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.”

Question: What are some other ways individuals and organizations can contend with accelerating technological change?