Shane Hipps spoke in chapel at Biola last week as part of a series on “Digital Formation: How Technology Shapes Our Faith”. Hipps, author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture and Flickering Pixels, spoke to the students on how the use of technology itself is not neutral and how we need to consider the effect that technology has on our spiritual life.
I had the honor of being a part of Biola’s Imagination Summit, or “iSummit”, a couple of weeks ago. The one-day event, held on campus March 12th, brought in several outside speakers to motivate faculty, staff, and students to think about the new possibilities of using digital technologies to extend Biola beyond its La Mirada campus. I had the privilege of being a part of the faculty panel in the afternoon session, where we got to present our vision and interact in a Q&A with the guest speakers.
This was an exciting event for me because I, along with a few others at Biola, have been scheming and dreaming about how to take the unique and exceptional resources that Biola has to offer the world and utilize the Internet to make them available worldwide. This summit was a positive step towards making that happen.
As I noted above, the iSummit featured several notable speakers, whom you can read about on the iSummit web site. But I want to focus on just one of them: Walt Wilson, founder and chairman of Global Media Outreach. Walt spoke passionately about the use of the Internet, combined with mobile devices, to reach the entire world for Christ by 2020. He believes that there is now no barrier to everyone having a mobile device and being connected. And it is now up to us to take advantage and spread the gospel to the “ends of the earth”. More from Walt:
“I believe that God has built this network to accomplish that very purpose [reaching the entire world] within our lifetime. We are the first generation in all of human history to hold within our hands the technology to reach every man, woman, and child on the earth by 2020. We are being called to engage in the battle for human souls, all across the world. We are being given the tools to meet them in their time of need. The moment they step out of the darkness, we are there to meet them.”
I found this vision to be inspiring and motivating, and I hope you do as well. Below I have embedded the video of Walt’s entire presentation – if you have the time it is well worth watching (it runs approx 25 minutes). Stay tuned to this blog for more from Walt; I will be interviewing him for my upcoming book and posting excerpts of that interview to this blog over the next few weeks.
Please note: this video takes a few minutes to load from the site, please be patient!
A belated “Happy New Year!” to everyone. I wanted to start off the new year by dusting off this old blog and making it what it was always meant to be: a resource for those who are doing ministry online. In particular, my focus is in the area of research and education for online ministry, though any topic regarding online ministry may show up here. So take a look around, you may notice that I have cleaned some things up and added some new information here and there.
So what is in store for 2010? Glad you asked:
I will be on a “half-sabbatical” this entire year at Biola, which means that I will only be teaching a half-load of classes and the rest of the time can focus on a research project. In my case, that research project will be a book on online ministry. This book will be based on the research that I have been doing, along with my experiences teaching a course in the topic and working with various ministries. As I am writing, I will be sharing ideas and questions on my blog and asking for your feedback.
I will be teaching a course in Internet Ministry this summer at Biola. This will be similar to the course I taught last spring, but with one big difference: it will be online. If you are student at Biola or another university (grad or undergrad) and would like to participate in this course, let me know! I will be writing about my ideas for this course on this blog as well.
I will be going to Turkey in March as part of TIEN 2010 where I will meet with church leaders and others interested in using the Internet to reach that part of the world for Christ.
I am part of a team putting together some sessions around the idea of online ministry at the CLA 2010 conference in April. Most of the ideas and writings for that are being done over at State of Ministry Online, but you will hear about it from time to time on this blog as well.
As any good researcher should do, I am actively seeking out others who write, teach, and research in this area. The goal of this is to stay informed and to be sure I am not duplicating the work of anyone else. I am now actively using Google reader to track what those people have to say. As I find articles or information that I find very valuable, I will share them on Google reader, which allows others (such as you, dear reader) to subscribe to these shared items and interact on them. I will be highlighting the best of what I am reading and sharing on this blog approximately once a week.
A lot of work on Internet ministry is going to happen in 2010 – stay tuned to this site for the latest. I would love to know what you are doing in the field of Internet ministry this year, or if you have a recommendation for someone I should be keeping up with. Let me know in the comments.