It’s uncomfortable to live in it, but often, good things come from trying to thrive in the balance. This semester I purposefully took an independent study to give me some room to wrestle with how Technology and Spiritual Formation collide. I’m well aware of the pitfalls and snares of technology. The Christian community seems to have a certain fear of technology, I mean, if the Church Lady was still around, I’m sure Twitter would be… from SATAN! I’m not suggesting that technology is the 18-wheeler crashing head-on into our holy minivan destroying everything good and holy. But rather, how can technology assist and enhance our spiritual formation to move us deeper in our spiritual transformation?
So I started asking myself some tough questions, and ended up in three different places of experimentation:
- Audio Divina
- Alpha and Omega
- Missional Prayer Experience
Pumping the same blood as Lectio Divina (“Divine Reading”, a simple meditative process for ingesting scripture), Audio Divina seeks to bring a greater awareness of scripture primarily through listening. The internet comes up short of examples on my take of Audio Divina, as most of what you’ll find is rooted in music rather than scripture. AD is a immersive auditory experience, designed to help us enter into the context of the passage. Here’s the full post about my first AD experiment. I’ve learned a lot since then, and I’m looking forward to making my next AD. However, for this class, the first experiment is all I have time for!
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega is a new framework that overlays my current youth ministry programs, not replacing, but supplementing and enhancing both our discipleship and community. Through the development of a Monday through Friday liturgy that is bookended with visually powerful media, and is filled with reflective questions and conversations, I hope to use technology to put even greater depth into the spiritual transformational that happens within our ministry, and within our families. This concept is still in development, but jump to the main Alpha and Omega post to check it out.
Missional Prayer Experience
This one doesn’t sound to complicated right? It’s not! I don’t know about you, but I consume a lot of visual media each day. It’s almost impossible not to these days. TV’s, computers, phones, tablets, billboards, cars, and airplanes are overloaded with media. But, how much of it moves us beyond fast-food style consumption of the content, into reflection and contemplation? I’ve watched a lot of videos produced by church and missions organizations. A lot of them are INCREDIBLE… but, what do I walk away with. How did I really engage in the experience? Similar to Audio Divina in that it enables us to slow down, a Mission Prayer Experience is designed to move beyond briefly connecting with basic knowledge, to prayerfully experiencing the heart of the mission. I love this video from Charity Water featuring Timebomb from Beck. But I walk away from it without having done more than consuming. The “action” step, is an assumption that I’ll think about it later, or perhaps do a quick google search for Charity Water. But really, what would be most powerful as a Christian, would be to enter into a space of prayer for those without clean water, and for Charity Water’s staff. That’s what I want MPE’s to do.