What Would Jesus Blog?

Tag: Grace

Church & Technology

by on Apr.16, 2009, under Uncategorized

I’m currently looking for a job (if anyone needs a techie with an MA, within range of Manchester, get in touch!). It’s caused me to take a good look at what I’m good at, what I want to do, what I think God wants me to do, and where God appears to be working. Not much then!

Looking around the Christian jobs scene, a lot of places seem to want youth workers. I’m not a youth worker. A lot seem to want lay workers, a now-deprecated term that encompasses a whole range of ministries but mostly seem to involve families, vulnerable people, Fresh Expressions, that kind of thing. I think I could do that, I think I’d enjoy it and be good at it, but I don’t feel called to it. Doing this MA at Cliff has taught me loads about where the future of the church lies, and has changed the way I approach church forever, but it’s also taught me that being a techie is a good thing and that actually, it’s where my heart has always been. After my BSc I was disillusioned with IT (thank you Manchester School of Computer Science), but being at Cliff has brought my worlds together. I’m a rare breed of Christian techie – I’m a qualified one! I find myself frustrated at the way churches abuse technology – they either ignore it or elevate it to the position of second saviour, rather than embracing it cautiously as they should.

We live in a world shaped by technology, and that’s both a fantastic thing and a terrible thing. The same technology that brings people together across huge distances lends itself to shallow relationships and approximations of community. The way in which we understand our place in the world is changing – where we’re going isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just that any upheaval like this can be hard to adapt to. The projector at the front of the church isn’t going to bring the kids flooding in – likewise the church ignores Facebook at its peril.

I live in a world of God and technology – I know both, and I love both. That’s where my future lies. That’s what God’s set me up for. That’s where I’m going. I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter if I pay my way working in IT or in the church – I can do God’s work in either, and I’m happy to go with the flow (of the Holy Spirit, I hasten to add!). Exactly where God’s taking me, only He knows – but I guess I’ve just got to trust him. I want to work with churches, to show them how they can use technology to serve the world, to disciple their flocks, to reach out to others and to serve God more faithfully. For now I do that in my spare time, in the future I’d like to see it be a job but maybe that’s not where I’m best placed. Maybe those who need me most can’t pay for me, and those who would pay wouldn’t understand. All in God’s hands. All in God’s hands.

I also realised that I’m terrifically good at nothing in particular. I’ve looked at a few jobs and I tick all the boxes except the specialism of that particular job. I work well in any position in a team, I’ve got great IT skills, I can organise stuff, I can work with external partners, all that kind of stuff….but not in any particular context. Meh, I’ll get there!

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Tuesday Celebration

by on Feb.04, 2009, under Uncategorized

We’re messing around with new ways of doing Tuesday Celebration, now that we’ve moved it down to the Chatsworth room – it’s a fantastic space and means that we can really let loose (when we have the equipment :p). This evening’s offering was pretty funky – plenty of well-used media, coherent narrative that didn’t cause me to switch off, sound message, and only one or two technical glitches that we can learn from. I may even let my manuals take one meeting every two weeks for worship-related stuff as manual time, which I’m sure they’ll love.

One thing I really appreciated was that the worship wasn’t all luvvy-duvvy ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ kinda stuff – that kinda thing really doesn’t represent how I feel about God! Michael Frost has an excellent chapter in his book Exiles about that – I highly recommend it. I was utterly despairing in the midst of such rubbish and then we sang a song that was all about how we all need God’s forgiveness, how God can forgive anyone who comes before him and asks for it, and how awesome it is that he offers it to us – and that right from day one we have to contend with one of the many paradoxes of Christianity – we don’t have to pay anything to receive God’s forgiveness but at the same time, it demands that we give over everything to God’s purpose.

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