My parents didn’t upgrade our dial-up Internet to highspeed until after I left for college. My sister and I would fight for phone time while we waited for our dad to finish checking his MLB stats because we couldn’t use our landline and the computer at the same time. Talk about first world problems. Now my dad is an iPad aficionado. My mom comments on every single Facebook picture I’m tagged in. They take (bad) selfies together. In their mid 50s, my parents have entered the digital age full force. And so has the Church.
Right now we have a historic opportunity to reach the world with the Gospel. To reach people and places we would not have access to without the fruit technology has bore in the last decade. Companies are developing driveless cars and new ways to harness artificial intelligence. These same advances are fueling the Church's own tech tools. Bible translators use digital audio devices to train indigenous leaders how to read Scripture. The Jesus Film developed a mobile app that allows anyone to share the Gospel in over 1,300 languages. In Habakkuk 2:14 we are told a day is coming when, "...the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord's glory, as the waters cover the sea." When used for God's glory and human flourishing, technology helps build bridges to those who don't yet know about Jesus' love for them.
Sometimes I imagine what the Apostle Paul would tweet on his iPhone 6. Maybe something like, “I rejoice in my afflictions because I know that affliction produces endurance. #coffeefast #godliness.” Paul followed Jesus without GPS, drones, or the Internet. If Paul and the early disciples started a worldwide revolution on foot, what could we do in this age of technology? God gave Jesus the authority to make disciples. Then Jesus gave us authority to do the same.