Friday, February 11, 2011

Collide Magazine | A Biblical Definition of Ministry in a Technological Age

My wife suggested I read an article by Stephen Presley in which he brings up what is the definition of ministry in an a technological age of streaming media and social networks. I like the definition for Christian ministry he gave:

Drawing these aspects together, a biblical definition of “ministry” might be defined as: a personal commission from God that labors toward the reconciliation of others to Christ through the gospel.

This is not a far cry from the definition in Fahlbusch’s (et al) Encyclopedia of Christianity: “Ministry, carrying forth Christ’s mission in the world, is fundamentally the task of the Church, the whole people of God, and is conferred on each Christian in baptism” (Eerdmans, 3.540). Most of the essential components listed above are evident: ministry is personal, interpersonal, and centered upon the person and work
of Christ.

I agree. Then he asks the question of most importance: Can you carry out ministry using the technology we have? He seemed to think that we can't.  I agree that we cannot exclusively use blogs, streaming media, and the internet to minister to the need s of people. They are just tools in doing that. Here is the point: Apostle Paul wrote letters to churches he never visited. Does that mean he was not ministering to them because he was not physically there. The writers of the Bible have long been dead, but the words they were inspired to write still minister to me although I never met them. Ministry does need to be personal and sometime in many contexts physical. Sometimes we have to minister even why physical contact is not possible. Most of this technology are just aids in communicating. Had Apostle Paul had access to the technology we do, I believe he wold shame us in the way he would use it better than us. He'd reach more people more effectively and still manage to personally travel all over the planet spreading the Gospel through cyberspace as well as on the ground.  Better believe his Facebook page would be better than yours and mine and his tweets would genuinely be interesting.

Collide Magazine | A Biblical Definition of Ministry in a Technological Age

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