The gospel in Tech
So i’m just back from Tech Camp 2011, recovering from lack of sleep and reflecting on what was a great few days exploring all things Tech and how this integrates with our faith. Video editing, animation, Audio Visual setup, voxpop interviews and a geek-hunt at Queens were all part of our few days together. Lots to learn from my point of view, but refreshing to see young teenagers expressing their creativity and using their God given gifts in all things Tech, exploring how faith and technology can be expressed and explored in their lives.
It was a fresh challenge for me, something different from what i’m used to and perhaps feel more comfortable with, but enjoyable none the less. It forced me to step out of what I’m more comfortable with, get my “geek” on and connect with kids who were more into Mac’s and YouTube than football and Match of the Day. As I sought to lead some devotions on the theme of Identity, Being part of the Body, and Using the Gifts we have been given for God, I was faced with a challenge :
- How can I attempt to connect these messages from Gods word to their world?
- How can I translate the gospel, and express these themes from scripture in a way that connects to the world of a tech-savvy teen?
This is a challenge i’m used to with my youth group on a regular basis, but this was a younger group of teens with different interests and different backgrounds than my youth group who I’ve gotten to know and journeyed with over the past 7 years. While these groups of teens have different interests, and probably wouldn’t associate that much with one another in schools, they have similar needs, hopes and fears. And so do I, so do you, so does all of mankind. And this is where the gospel unites, and communicating it’s truth is what’s essential : we’re all sinners in need of rescuing, we all need to know and experience grace and forgiveness, we all long to belong and experience something more than this world has to offer, we all have something to offer when we get connected to the body and get involved with kingdom work. Diversity in the body should be celebrated and not lead to division.
So here was my attempt to incarnate the gospel for tech-savvy teen’s.
- There’s a tension that exists in our lives: we have been programmed by the creator to live in relationship with Him, but this good programme has been infected by a virus (sin) that changes everything. It destroys the function the good programme was designed to do and it affects everything it is connected to. We experience broken-ness in relationship, pain, hurt, rejection, separation and ultimately death as a result of this virus called sin. We can try to reverse the effects and un-do the damage the virus has done, but we are merely scratching the surface: it’s damaged the kernel and its effects are irreversible.
The creator steps in to rescue and reverse the damage the virus called sin has done to his programme for life. He sends a master-key from the original design to unlock the effects of the virus, and enable us to be re-programmed again with the creator’s good programme. We need to run the anti-virus and remove the infection so that we can re-download the good programme and start living by it’s design. The master key was Jesus, and at Calvary he took on the effects of the virus called sin, quarantining and destroying it’s effects forever, allowing himself to be destroyed and then re-programmed on our behalf, so that we can have the chance to re-download the good programme. It’s effect is instant, but it’s power comes from utilising the effects of the new programme in our lives. We need to remain plugged in to the source, and listen to the prompts of the anti-virus programme that alerts us of the attack of the bad programme called sin seeking to interrupt the download and break through and destroy the effects of the good programme as it re-formats and re-installs in our lives.
So there you have it: a blog post inspired by a bunch of tech-savvy teens and leaders @pcitechcamp, who have much to offer a church seeking to communicate afresh the unchanging biblical truths of the gospel to a constantly changing and increasingly technological world in need.