God & Technology
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Some years back, I started to spend a bit of time in our church office and I realized that a lot of the tech best practices that startups use could also be used by the church to get people closer to God. This seemed like such a new thing, because technology is changing so rapidly, and churches, in general, aren’t seen as the most innovative of institutions. But then on a visit to the Billy Graham Library, I realized that I was totally mistaken. Millions of people gave their lives to Jesus at Billy Graham’s crusades, and his sermons reached billions around the world. After seeing pictures of him with every US president since Truman, as well as world leaders like Deng Xiaoping and Kim Jong-Il, we walked into a room with pictures of Billy Graham in various TV and radio studios. Our guide said “See in his day, most pastors believed that technology and media were evil. People within the church said ‘oh we can’t go to Hollywood. That’s the devil’s domain.’ But Billy Graham believed that we needed to use the cutting edge technology of the era to get the gospel to people.” In subsequent weeks and months, God revealed to me that he had not only been working through technology in Billy Graham’s era, but really since the beginning of time. See technology is effectively our ability to store, process and transfer information. Every 18 months or so, our speed in information processing doubles, a phenomenon known as Moore’s law. This is what allows innovative churches today to use Instagram to reach the lost. It’s also what allowed Billy Graham to use radio and TV to do the same. The internet, computers, television, radio, the telegraph, the printing press, paper, and even the invention of writing itself were all innovations that God used to get more people into relationship with him. Jesus did the miracles, but it was the authors of the gospels who brought the good news to the masses. Only 3% of people knew how to read and write then, which means that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the software developers of their day. That feels funny to us because almost everyone knows how to read today, but in the same way, almost everyone will know how to code in a decade or two. Churches will be holding amazing virtual reality services with billions of simultaneous attendants. AI assistants will help us in our quiet time journey. Advancements we can’t even begin to imagine await right around the corner. Lord, you are the same yesterday, today and forever. You have always been using technology to bring people into relationship with you and you’re only accelerating that today. I believe you’re bringing another billion believers to know you in our lifetime. I submit all my plans to yours, and I just want to come in line with what you’re already doing. I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.