Carl Trueman’s latest article at Reformation 21 takes on the digital age and its influence on the church and ministry. Particularly, Trueman points out that the digital age has given people an excuse to ignore local, real life connections for the sake of connecting globally. It has skewed our priorities so that we spend more time online than we do hanging out with real people. The same case could be made for other things as well. It is likely that we spend more time reading short blog articles about trivial matters than we do reading lengthier books dealing with weighty issues. I have really been thinking a lot about this subject for some time now. Personally I can find so many reasons to spend good chunks of time on the computer. It is questionable whether many of those reasons are good. I found Trueman’s words below convicting.
When I see Christians blogging so much, I wonder how many sermons are being prepared on the fly because of lack of time, how many parishioners go unvisited, how many prayers remain unprayed, how many words of love and affection to spouses and children are never said, how many books – let alone the Bible – are left unread, and how many fellowships atrophy through lack of any real, meaningful social and spiritual intercourse. Indeed, to summarize: how many online `communities’ (sic) prosper to the detriment of the real, physical communities into which the Lord has placed each and every one of us? How many complain of insufficient time to do the boring routines of the Christian life – worship services, Sunday School, visiting the sick and the aged, fellowship, Bible reading, prayer – and yet always somehow manage to fit in a quick twitter or blog or podcast or change to their Facebook status?
A sobering reminder that my time and efforts are better spent connecting with people where I am at. The internet and digital media have given us many useful resources to communicate information and share the gospel. However, technology can never replace the interaction we have every day with real people whether in church, at our jobs, or in our homes.