Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Social Media, Jesus, & His Church (Part 1)

I encourage you to take 4 minutes & watch this video before reading this post…

The world we live in is changing very rapidly! There is a fundamental shift taking place in how we as a society communicate, meet people, build relationships, get our news, purchase things – just about every aspect of our lives is dramatically changing  – because of technology. In case you’ve had your head buried in the sand these last few years and haven’t noticed, we live in a very different world than we did just a few short years ago – and it’s changing more every day.

Sadly, most Christians & Churches have been “left in the dust” by the world around us. They look back on us as though we are still chiseling away on stone tablets. Most Churches & Christians have become completely irrelevent to the society in which we live. As @tonymorganlive said – “We’re trying to preach the gospel, but we’re using language & methods that don’t connect with the culture we’re trying to reach. It’s like we’re standing on the street corner yelling at cars as they pass by. They look curiously at us for a split second, but they can’t hear us because they’re already down the road.”

Think about it – when the printing press was invented it was “the church” that leveraged this latest technological advance to spread God’s word and it ushered in the Reformation. Now, Christians & Churches treat new technologies as threats – rather than embrace & leverage their potential. I believe that for the 1st time in history – we have the potential to fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime. Technology will actually make it possible for us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with every person on the planet. We should be jumping up & down celebrating the possibilities! I’ll talk more about the amazing possibilities in Part 2 of this series (stay tuned).

While I am fairly up to date on technological advances, I still have a ways to go. I view myself as just enough of a “tech geek” to be dangerous. Let me give you a little glimpse into my world…

  • I think I bought 1 audio CD about a year ago – I download all of my music from itunes & amazon to my IPod.
  • I mostly listen to audio books that I’ve downloaded from audible.com or amazon on my IPod while I’m at the gym.
  • I share music with friends on blip.fm
  • I watch movies & TV shows on hulu.com
  • I share videos with the world on Vimeo & You Tube
  • I have friends on Twitter & Facebook all over the world who know more about me than most people I see weekly in person

And the best part is – I am able to do most all of this – on the go – with my Blackberry & IPod! Go back & re-watch the video above – technology is changing everything – & changing it very quickly! I believe that we as Christians & Churches only have 2 choices…

1) We can turn our backs on this dramatic transformation of our world by technology – and as a result both us & our message will continue to become more & more irrelevent.

2) We can embrace it, leverage it, & redeem it! We can use it to “GO… & make disciples” as Jesus told us to – or to “become all things to all people that I might lead some to Christ” as the Apostle Paul said.

Stay tuned – in Part 2 I will share how I believe we can embrace, leverage,  & redeem technology in some very simple & practical ways to to make a huge impact in our world for Jesus!

BTW: If your not on Facebook & Twitter yet – go ahead – jump in – the water is fine. I also encourage you to follow me @howardjkoepka/twitter & howardjkoepka/facebook.


6 responses

  1. Pingback: Social Media, Jesus, & His Church (Part 2) « Pastor Howard’s Blog

  2. Chad M

    Pastor Howard I have to agree with you 110%. We as a church have a chance of a lifetime to be able to reach more people than ever before in the history of Christianity.

    With the amount of technology in the world there is no reason why we as Christians can’t make a bigger difference now than ever before.

    I have to meet with my boss tomorrow and discuss the same topic. How can we, as one of the largest companies in the U.S., embrace technology and use it to our advantage over our competition.

    Well I ask my fellow Christians how can we embrace technology and use it to our advantage? Not only to grow our Church but to bring more people closer to Christ our Savior.

    Let’s use our heads and technology to overcome the wrong doing and take advantage of this once of a lifetime opportunity.

    Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

    August 26, 2009 at 1:34 am

  3. richard

    maybe we should wait and see if this technology thing catches on and is here to stay before we get too excited about it 😉

    August 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm

  4. Kris

    While I agree with the notion that technology makes a lot of things easier in our lives, I also recognize that it comes with some “side effects”…

    Let’s just be clear about one thing: People at EPC come out every Sunday not only to praise God, but to listen to you, Howard, as well as Aaron. We are there because you touch us, you convey God’s words in ways that we can relate to and we want to be in “your presence” because of the way you guys are!

    Technology may help convey the message, but never forget about the power of personal interaction and face-to face contact! Jesus’ words spread to millions of people around the world without the help of any technology for the last 2000 years. I think Facebook and Twitter have ways to go before they can leave their mark…

    While I enjoy following your blogs and emails, nothing comes close to being there listening to you and Aaron on a Sunday morning.

    Now go and twitter in peace! 😉


    August 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    • Jennifer

      I agree with this one. While I love to go back, watch and listen to the prior week’s message on the website, nothing…and I mean NOTHING will ever beat being there in person on Sunday morning. I love to meet the people God is bringing in and to see the one’s I alreay have formed relationships with and the ones I know, but don’t have that close relationship with. Interaction among people is important. We thrive on human contact. And that little hug I get from somebody on Sunday morning, that kind word, and the reminder that God is there, always, means so much to me. I encourage your blogging, Howard, and anybody else’s. Our technology today is a great tool. It’s not just about reaching more people now than in the past 2000 years. It’s about bringing the Word to people in a way that is relevant to the world today. God knows the world is changing. He’s the one who’s changing it. So use the technology that comes from the minds of the people He created.

      August 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm

  5. Pingback: Social Media, Jesus, & His Church (Part 3) « Pastor Howard’s Blog

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