Preaching in a Digital Age
These notes may only make a little sense but they are what I spoke from at the above mentioned conference.
PREACHING IN A DIGITAL AGE
July 3rd 2013
Focus on preaching – all this week.
Spend just a little time focussing on what is commonly referred to as the DIGITAL AGE
Question is: who are we increasingly preaching too?
Main argument: we cannot ignore the cultural ramifications of digital technology on human beings to whom we are called to preach.
Mainly motored by communications and driven by the internet
+ other forces in our own area such as pluralism, secularism, atheism etc
What we see is pretty grim
Tip of the iceberg
Eye of the storm
Can’t see nothing yet!
Most fateful age since human beings lived on the planet
Everyone has a megaphone
People throw crap at you
Tethered like donkeys to the social media fence
Paranoid fantasy, self indulgent nonsense, dangerous bigotry
HUGE BANK OF WORK ON WHAT KIND OF A CONGREGATION THE INTERNET HAS CREATED
ü A homogenous global culture [Castells]
ü Huge increase in expressive capability [Shirky] much of which is sent out promiscuously
ü Divide between work and play is altered
ü The way we understand friendship has changed
ü A lot of time is wasted
ü Archiving/keeping hard copies has changed
Just some of the characteristics of the digital congregation
Who are searching, tweeting, sharing and updating
Freedom openness entertainment
Privacy speed customising
Interactive innovative easily mobilised
More isolated Loss of memory Easily bored/want choice
Side effect on language
Always difficult to communicate experience
Language is in an even more reduced state
As preachers, ambassadors of the Gospel, the Church how do we respond to this iceberg?
1 We ignore it [real option]
The landscape is unfamiliar to the churches [Hipps]
2. We pretend it isn’t happening
A more conscious decision not to engage and to be a complete contrast
3. We can find our voice on the basis that faith communities have something distinctive to say about the kind of world that is being created
4. In so doing – we reclaim the debate which many feel we have lost in society at large – [Redfern]
5. Training is needed. Expertise needs building up. Ability to communicate against this backdrop.
THREE RECENT EXAMPLES
SERMON ON DIACONATE
TFTD MENTAL HEALTH
FUNERAL OF DEREK SMITH – CAN WE TWEET IT FATHER?
End with two biblical passages that might need re-evaluating in the digital age.
Parable of the Sower
“The parable of the sower proposes that you should spread your message as broadly as possible and accept that not everyone will understand or wish to engage with your ideas.”
Matthew 9 16-17
New Wine New Cloth
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The argument between the pre digital world and the world we now inhabit suggests that we need to recognise that both now exists side by side