Friday, May 23, 2014

May Micro Blog: Technology, just start the conversation

Blog writing feels a bit like what the newspaper 'men of the past must of felt like, you write, the words go out, but is there anyway to effect change? Well today I have a message, I want you to do something.

I teach Sunday School at our church for grades 5-7. It has its frustrations and challenges but occasionally there are amazing moments. Recently I taught a a series of classes on using the internet. You say really they are bit young aren't they. No Way! 9 out of 9 had electronic devices. Five of the nine could independently connect to the internet with no adult supervision. But that wasn't where the idea for the class started. That came about because after some conversation which I won't detail here, I asked whether they get taught anything about using the internet at school. Oh yes, but the lessons are lame - they don't know what they are talking about was the response. I get the impression its all about how to 'use' and nothing about the wider understanding of it.

So you adults out there - just think - the common joke for years has been that the best person to program the VCR (xyz machine) is to get the closest 12 year old. So the equivalent is we now have technologically illiterate teachers trying to talk to kids about the internet - just think about that for a moment. These kids live and breathe the net, they are the digital natives but they are still pre-teen they have no idea of what they are playing with. I'd be the same as putting them out on the savannah and seeing if they survive.

The fun bit is that if you know a little of the technology - the Bible speaks into their lives like a bell chiming.

Passages like Colossians 3 come so alive because they see what is going around them (I won't fill in the gory details but you read the news and the kids see stuff all the time).

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Really if you start with their world and specifically technology, then often the Bible isn't hard to talk about at all. Finishing within the alotted time is more the problem once the conversations get really going. And the cool thing, its kids who aren't from a Christian background whose eyes go widest at what we are discussing - its relevant, useful and they want more.

So I urge you start the conversation! Just start it. Its not too hard. We need to have lots of conversations around technology at church but at least if you do nothing else talk to the kids. it will go in weird directions I am sure of it but go with it, I am sure it will be rewarding for you and them!

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