Every year, Time Magazine selects someone for their prestigious “Person of the Year” award. I’m sure you’ve seen issues dedicated to certain individuals whose life work or legacy has made a significant impact on the world around them. However, for the 1982 award, Time did something they had never done before, gave the award to an inanimate object: the personal computer. The quaint article outlined the dawn of the information age and a changing landscape where technology would impact humanity’s daily life.
Today we live in the information age. A time where nearly every piece of human knowledge is at our fingertips. In nearly every sector, digital technology has made significant advancements to the way business, government, and personal life takes place. This is true for nearly every fabric of our society. Every generation has increased their use of technology in daily life. This is especially true for Generation Z, those born from 1997 to 2012. Their life has been immersed in technology. They never experienced a time, at least that they can remember, when the internet didn’t exist.
What About the Church
Churches, like any organization, has responded to the cultural and physical changes of the congregations they serve. Every day, more churches introduce ministry options that embody technology. From weekly study podcasts to social media feeds, technology has taken an important role in ministry. For instance, more than 90 years ago, H.M.S Richards broadcast his first Voice of Prophecy presentation on the radio—cutting edge technology at the time. So new in fact, the technology wasn’t even considered mainstream. Ministries have learned a valuable lesson: in order to reach people with the Gospel, they must be where the people are—and that is in the realm of technology.
A Shift Towards Virtual
Now, more than ever before, ministries are seeing the need to share the Gospel message online. Since COVID-19 swept the globe 9 months ago, nearly every part of our society has moved online. Tech companies have made billions investing in their video chat software. An entire generation of students are experiencing going to school without being in the classroom. The pandemic has globally shifted the way we communicate, do business, and live our lives—even more so than the information age already has. Are churches and ministries doing what they can to keep up? Mostly.
A Confluence: A Ministry Must
Living in the information age and a pandemic has breed a unique time in human history for ministries. Billions of people are stuck at home either working, schooling, or unemployed. Although countries have tried so hard to restart struggling economies, largely people are still living life online. This has presented an incredible opportunity for sharing the Gospel. People who might refuse attending a new church for the first time are more inclined to check out their live stream online, in the comfort of their home, away from judgmental attitudes for instance.
Responding to the Call
Ministries like TeensTARGETED are working hard to reach people for Jesus using technology and media. Taking advantage of the unique and challenging time to deliver the Gospel message is an incredible blessing. Ellen White summaries the joy of evangelism in Acts to the Apostles on page 136 by saying, “As His representatives among men, God does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save.” Reaching lost souls for Jesus has never been easier than in our time. Won’t you answer the call?