We no longer have to go to the bank and wait in line to make deposits or withdraw money. We have access to people at almost any time through our cellphones and email. We can find and catch up with old friends through social media sites. And these examples barely scrape the surface. With every passing year, new technologies come along and our methods of doing things shift accordingly. Technology makes us better connected and more productive and helps us in ministry. But it has drawbacks.
With every passing year, new technologies come along and our methods of doing things shift accordingly.
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Many average pastors get into trouble, losing precious time and energy because they find themselves ensnared by the more dangerous aspects of our new, technology-driven world. Renegade pastors, on the other hand, acknowledge that technology is just a tool—something to be used for our benefit and God’s glory.
God can and does use technology to accomplish tremendous good in the world. For example, I have been able to coach thousands of pastors and church leaders, helping them reach their God-given potential, largely because of advancements in technology. But it is easy to get off-track in this technological age. There’s always a temptation to use technology in unproductive and even damaging ways.
God has called you to be out among the world. Despite technology, many interactions require a human, in-person touch.
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Following are a few of the downsides of too much technology:
- Isolation. Since it is so easy to connect with people using text, email, and social media, you may find yourself neglecting personal interaction. God has called you to be out among the world. Despite technology, many interactions require a human, in-person touch.
- Wasted time. Have you ever opened social media with the intention of taking a quick look at what’s going on, only to find yourself still scrolling and reading an hour later? While you can use those social media outlets for good—including the spread of the gospel—they can also eat away valuable time you will never get back.
- Diminished physical fitness. Sadly, obesity is the new normal in America—and Christians are one of the heaviest demographics. As I detail in my book The Healthy Renegade Pastor, poor physical health, far from honoring God, limits your ability to fulfill the purposes he put you on this earth to fulfill. Thanks largely to technology, people are becoming more sedentary than ever. God wants you and me to model a healthy, active lifestyle—and there are technologies out there that can help with that if we will utilize them.
- Temptation. Pornography is a huge problem among Christians—even pastors. And it’s available on any of our connected devices. Along with this, social media makes it easier than ever to connect with old romantic interests, potentially renewing relationships that shouldn’t be rekindled. All of this can spell disaster for Christian leaders not on their guard.
- Loss of reputation. This can happen in many ways: an inappropriate post, a shared link that shouldn’t have been shared, or even too many overtly political posts. Any of these actions can cause people to judge you in a negative light and possibly develop an undesirable view of your ministry.
- Stress. In many ways, technology can ease the stress in your life. But the fact that you are always connected can also mean that you don’t have the downtime you need. True rest requires some disconnection.
– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman
The above excerpt is from pgs. 189-191 of The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Time Management.
Time is your most important God-given resource no matter how hard you work, you can’t make a day last longer than twenty-four hours. By mastering a set of proven time-management principles, you can regain control of your life. It is possible to manage your time so that you can stay on top of the never-ending demands of being a pastor, nurture your congregation, spend quality time with your family, and take care of your physical and emotional needs. Become the pastor God has called you to be.
Your partner in ministry,