By Jaime Handley
I recently heard a news report that was pretty startling: Only 20 years ago, a person could sit and stare at a beautiful natural scene—ocean waves rolling, ducks on a pond, you know, something off one of those inspirational posters—for an average of 14 minutes. That’s it. Just sit there, stare and take it all in. Fast forward to 2012. Now the average, everyday person can sit for only three minutes before they have to check their iPhone, Android, Facebook page, Twitter feed—the options are endless. And for those of us in youth ministry, this hits close to home. Admit it, you’ve had that moment in the middle of a brilliant message—you’re making the most important theological point of your youth ministry career—when you look up, only to see more than a few of your students texting or checking their phones. And while they may be looking up the meaning of the fascinating theological term you just used, they are more likely checking their Facebook profile. But, let’s be frank, this is not just a problem for your student base. Because if we were willing to be completely honest, we adults would admit that we also have a slight addiction to technology. And while technology is not a bad thing, the way we use it matters—a lot. And this is exactly what our featured series for January, Babel, is all about.
Here is a summary of this three-week series:
What does a tower in ancient times built to reach the heavens and a cell phone have in common? A lot more than you think. The people responsible for the Tower of Babel, the, uh, Babel-ers we’ll call them, took the technology, the tools of their day and used them in a way that elevated themselves and took God out of the picture. And the reality is that you and I have tools in our hands, the technology of our day, that we take and use in similar ways. The technology itself isn’t bad or good. It’s neutral. But like the people of Babel, how we choose to use the technology is important—it reflects the kind of relationship we have with it. And the right kind of relationship with technology will help us to do the right kinds of things with it.
We look forward to hearing how this series impacts your students—and you. As always, please reach out and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!