Updated Ministries Must Replace Outdated Methodologies

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

One of the biggest challenges of a church today is to be up-to-date in doing ministry. The temptation is to keep doing things the way we have always done them—even though they may be much out of date.

I preached a sermon entitled “A Dirt Road Church in a Interstate World.” It is so easy for the church to be far behind the times. It is easy to have a Guttenberg mentality when we live in a Google reality.

My dad always was ahead of his time in utilizing radio and television. He always told my brother George and me to look for ways to utilize the media. We both have tried to practice that.

Technology today affords so many new ways of doing evangelism and ministry. A lot of us are trying to make use of e-mails, but the possibilities of utilizing text messaging, iPods, facebook, twitter—the list goes on and on, and many new things are just around the corner.

Earlier this month the Reverend Canon David Parrott had a special service to bless high-tech gadgets. He put laptops and smart phones on the altar of London’s 17th-century St. Lawrence Jewry church. He wanted to remind people that technology was used as a daily working tool, and could also be used for ministry.

The special service of blessing was offered in the Christopher Wren-designed building – the official church of the Corporation of the City of London, which runs the capital’s bustling financial district. Parishioners took out their cell phones and other electronic devices and held them in the air for the blessing.

The reason Parrott did this was to update a traditional first of the year back-to-work ceremony called “Plow Monday,” in which villagers would gather and bless a symbolic farming implement which they placed at the church door. Parrott surmised that since there were no fields anywhere near the middle of London, the ceremony would take on a lot more meaning to use technology rather than a plow.

We need to be open to use every means available for meaningful ministry in the 21st century. I believe that God yearn to use all the new inventions that have developed and will be developed. It is up to us to ask for His guidance in trying to figure out how to use these instruments.

This message is coming to you by e-mail from the Internet. May God show us more and more ways to more effectively communicate His Good News. Let’s make the church relevant to meet the needs of people today!

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