The following is the most recent comment on my post on Monday titled “Thomas Kuhn, bloggers and the emerging church: Is the paradigm shift in technology and media a cue for the church?”
Wyatt Smith from the Armed Forces Foundation makes the following statement:
“Rhett, you had a lot of good things to say and you know I’m definitely with you on most of the stuff. However, I had one question on this quote from your blog:
‘If the church wants to continue to be relevant, and to enter into dialogue with the culture at large, which it is wanting to reform, then it must have bloggers within it.’
Do you strongly believe that a church has to have bloggers within it to be relevant to culture? Take for example a church of 500 that is strategically located in Washington, DC, perhaps in the inner city. What if they’re low tech or how about no tech. No webpage no anything. But, they impact people for Christ in their community through reaching out to its youth and elderly. They serve dinners to the homeless. They invite folks into their homes. They do everything that the Great Commission teaches us, yet they aren’t blogging daily. Sure their scope or impact area may not reach beyond its small community. But I would argue they’re still relevant.”
That is a great question. One that we could discuss on many different levels. I would say this. No, I do not believe that a church is irrelevant because it does not have bloggers within it. I obviously view things from my own persepctive at times, and I happen to be at a church which has numerous resources, where having a web site is mandatory, and where lots of resources can be used to communicate. It’s an important tool in my culture. But it may not be an important tool in some cultures.
But what I mean by that statement is this. I think it is important for the church to take advantage of all possible means, especially in technology and communication, so that they can most effectively and efficiently communicate the word of God. So a church can be relevant regardless. Some churches might have a different purpose, and technology might not be a part of that. Their culture may not be a part of a technological blogging culture. Contemplatives, monastics, etc. And I think that is a good thing. In fact, I would like to get away from technology at times as well. But if you are reading a blog, it is probably a part of your culture, and it may be an effective means to communicate.
I do believe that Christians, churches, etc., have always taken the most effective means of communicating when possible, and employed them on their behalf. You didn’t need to print a book in the 16th Century to be relevant to culture, but the invention of the printing press, coinciding with Luther’s translations of the text into German, sure did make the Scriptures readily relevant to the culture at large.
Bottom line…I can communicate one by one on phone or email, or I can communicate to hundreds of my students, and others, all at the same time. And throughout the week. I have found this to be a refining process for my students, and for myself, as we are in constant dialogue. This was not possible before I started blogging. But I must not also replace the face to face encounter in ministry with a blog instead. But rather, a blog is a tool that I add to my ministry.
Each church has to decide what is important to them, and if the use of a blog might benefit them, and the community they serve. A church might not be able to post a website because of a lack of resources, which is more the reason for someone inside that church to begin a blog (free at many places) to communicate with those who have a computer. So now, that church is not only relevant to the people doing the ministry in other areas, where technology is not as important, but it’s relevant to the people in the church who are on computers.
Nothing has been more helpful to my own ministry and thinking, then instantly being connected to a web of people all around the world via the blog. It has given me new insight into my own ministry, and I no longer feel I’m alone on the journey.
I have a whole world of bloggers out there in which I am waiting to explore. So, you will not be irrelevant as a church without a blogger, but having one I believe, puts you light years in a direction ahead of the curve in which I believe ministry is heading with the shrinking of the world due to technology.