surf or get wet :: the information tsunami

September 22, 2009


Another reminder that right now, normative = change. It will take some time and some effort to stay ahead of this technological wave, because it’s big. Really, really big. And if you choose to tread water, you will get wet.  I’m a missionary from Minnesota, and my mission field is full of surfers.

As a church leader – actually, just as a Christ follower– I don’t want to see local churches choosing to let culture pass us by. Too often the church looks at our changing world with a cautious eye, afraid of becoming “of the world” we are in, and excusing our lack of engagement with the culture by saying that we are called to live differently, and this world is not our home.

Yes, we must live differently. Yes, this world and all of the technological advancements of humanity will be gone in a blink. Yes, we need to be alert when engaging the enemy’s territory, because he prowls around like a roaring lion, and he’s hungry.

But don’t concede ground!  Don’t fear cultural change!  Read the book – God wins.  And greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world.  God did not give us a spirit of timidity, after all, but a Spirit of POWER and of LOVE and of SELF-DISCIPLINE.  No more wimping out, church!  No more “keeping the world at arm’s length” out of fear of being tainted.  Where’s our backbone?  Engage!

To be in the world and not of it (John 17:14-16) requires us to actually be IN the world.  How else will we have a platform to spread the news of God’s love and plan for redemption?  Jesus’ prayer in John 17 reveals His heart for us not to be removed from the world, but to protected from the evil one as we navigate through it, and influence it for the Kingdom.

Bottom line: I’m speaking to my fellow believers, now.  I’m begging you not to be ignorant or stubborn about all things technological.  The reality is, a tsunami of information and technological tools for connecting and communicating is roaring through time with ever-increasing speed. If you decide you’re “just not that into” computers/technology/social media, etc. you will miss out on opportunities to influence our culture for the King.

Of course, nothing beats face to face relationships.  Technology can hamper us if it supersedes our face-to-face time.  There is a cost, and there are dangers.  But I’m tired of churches who decide, “we like it here.  Let’s not change too fast.  It feels good right here…”

That’s wimpy, lazy, fearful, ineffective, comfortably stagnant faith inaction.

The truth is, right here is all wet.  The moment we tread water, the wave of change roars onward without us.  Don’t fear the wave.  Learn to surf.  Then we can engage the surfers who need to meet Jesus.

What do you think?  Is technology a dangerous minefield, or is it an important part of reaching our current culture for Jesus?

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surf or get wet :: the information tsunami by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

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  1. Dear Josh, I agree, beginner tho I am, that the church should embrace technology and use it to the fullest extent possible to reach people with the Truth of Salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Thanks for the great challenge today.

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