Category Archives: technology

Technology in Ministry Part 1 – Hardware

I am often asked what forms of technology (hardware, software, mobile apps, and web apps) I/we use. I thought I would do a number of posts on this topic each addressing a different form of tech for different functionalies.

To start it off, I thought I would begin talking about hardware.  First, it will not be a surprise that I am an Apple fan and, thus, I have a full array of Apple products.  I love Apple because they are sleek, last a long time, the software and hardware are always compatible, and software upgrades are cheap (the latest operating system upgrade was $29.00).

The following is a list of Hardware I use and the benefits of each:

iPod – I have an old school 30gig iPod that I still use for music.  It holds my entire music Library and allowed me to buy the smaller iPhone as a result.  I leave it attached to my home office speakers most of the time.  I have had it for years and it still works brilliantly!

iPhone 4 – I use to have a Blackberry but found it was limited in what it could do.  In comparison, it couldn’t match up to the power and versitility of an iPhone.  The iphone allows me, with the right apps, to take my office with me and have access to my important files, music, video, books, etc.  It also is my GPS which allows me to carry it with me everywhere I go regardless of what vehicle I am in.

iPad 2 – I, honestly and in full disclosure, bought an Ipad because Steve Jobs told me I needed one:)  But after having it, I love it.  I can write blog posts, read and respond to my school Forums, catch up on news, connet via scoial media, use Evernote, play games, watch Netflix, read Kindle books, etc. all at the touch of a screen icon in one easy to hold and carry device.

Kindle 3G – With the amount of reading I do for school I find that prolonged reading on the iPad screen is a little hard on the eyes and the Kindle is a great alternative. The benefits of the Kindle are varied  For one, I use the Kindle App on all my devices and it syncs my notes,  underlines, and last page read between them.  In other words, I can literally read 10 pages on my iPhone, switch to my iPad and then later my Kindle and finish on my computer all synced and working seamless together.  The other advantage of the Kindle, over the other Hardare options, is the Kindle Web feature that stores my notes and underlines which I, after the book is complete, send to Evernote so I can search and reference them later.

17″ MacBook Pro – I bought a MacBook pro three plus years ago and love it.  It is a work horse.  I still use it for video editing and it sits in my home office.

10″ MacBook Air – I bought my MacBook Air a couple months ago and it is faster than my old MacBook pro, lighter and more compact.  With the increasing amount of writing and traveling I am doing, it is nice to have something more portable without losing power or speed.  It also has a flash Harddrive; because the flash harddrive has no moving parts, it doesn’t become a mini-heater like my old MacBook Pro.

My only complant about my Apple products is not that they are more expensive than some of their competitors, you get what you pay for, but that they are not universal in what some of their products can play.  For example, it is frustrating that the iPhone and iPad are not Flash Video compatible.  I understand Apple’s reservation with what they consider their competitor and inferior technology, but as a avid web-user it is frustrating not to have full access to web content because of it.

Coming Soon: Why I use Evernote and the related software that makes it so powerful.

Superheros and Nanotechnology

I have, recently, been fascinated with rise of superhero myths in culture today.  From comic books, TV shows, movies, etc., they are everywhere.  Pop culture is chalk full of superhero (vampires for females) stories as of late.
My hypothesis is that this is not a coincidence.  I believe that our collective cultural subconscious is attempting to deal with the imminent birth of nanotechnology (just as Superman and Spiderman were born as result of culture processing nuclear technology and the effects of radiation).  Listen to experts in the field and they will tell you that nanotechnology effects are on the horizon and they will significantly alter our lives.  It will be possible, in the fairly near future, to inject nano-bots into our blood stream that will be programmed to fight certain (cancer for example) cells.  Consequently, they would act like white blood cells on steroids.  It will also, inevitably, be possible to replace red blood cells with nano-bots that will provide more oxygen in our blood streams allowing us to hold our breath longer, run faster, jump higher, etc.  This is not distant science fiction anymore, this is the inevitable future.  This is why, I think, the superhero myth has remerged with a vengeance.  The future is coming and we, as society, have begun to collectively process it the way we also have, through story.

Social Media and the Vancouver Riots

I, along with most of Canada, was appalled at the Vancouver Riots after the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in game seven of the Stanley Cup final.  However, in the midst of my disgust, I was fascinated by the events that were unfolding in the national news coverage as I witnessed the masses capturing the riots via smart phones and sharing them on social media.  In the midst of breaking the law, the rioters and looters activities were being passively encouraged by the riot onlookers who stayed to witnesses and record these events.  At the same time my eyes were witnessing this spectacle, I was listening to the commentary of the new’s channel reporters who, along with myself, were shocked and appalled by the hundred of onlookers who were, at the very least, recording and witnessing the destructive behaviour while all along recording it on their electronic devices.

Part of what was most shocking and ironic to me was the contrast between the new’s reporters commentary of the appalling behaviour of those who were witnessing and recoding the events and the deluge of ads the same new’s channel constantly run encouraging people to be iReporters – in essence, to do the very things that they were appalled at.

Our culture has radically shifted because of smart phones and social media.  The human condition is still the same but technology (as it always been since the Tower of Babel) has found a new outlet of expression.  Every piece of technology created alters our social construct and our culture and social media technology is no different.  The same technology that was used to bring down oppressive regimes by putting power in the hands of the oppressed is also used to help organize riots and public looting.  The same technology that stirred a crowd to act foolishly will be used, in the end, to bring justice.

Technology is not a passive force in our world, culture or social constructs.

The Importance of Being You

This is a great video on the importance of being yourself in ministry using the very unique example of Mark Driscoll. I am not a huge fan of Mark per say for several reasons (which I may address at a later time – theological, missiological and pragmatic) but this video makes a great point. Too often (because it is soooo easy to do) preachers begin to mimic the preaching or ministry style of someone they connect with and enjoy listening you. The challenge is, they, inevitably, lose their focus and I would argue, their integrity and spiritual effectiveness as a result. God has called them with their unique gifts, their abilities, and even, dare I say it, their inabilities and lack of certain gifts, to their unique ministry setting. When we pretend to be someone else we are not, we become less spiritually effective then if we simply relied on the Holy Spirit to empower us: the same Spirit who knit us together in our mother’s womb, who gifts us uniquely for ministry, and who empowers us for holiness and ministry!

 If we pretend to be someone we are not, even if it is for seemingly good reasons (trying to be more “effective”), we are not living in the will of God but a weird state of disobedience with a distorted set of convoluted motivations.

Coming soon...a post about the effect technology has had (to the benefit and detriment) on the ministry of preaching.