Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Dark Side of Technology

It might be ironic that you are reading about "the dark side of technology" on the web. And I am like most other guys, fascinated by tech gadgets. But I wonder sometimes about how technology is affecting us. Some negative effects:

1) We are constantly on call.
With email and cell phones, work is always with us. This lack of boundaries is dangerous. We all need mental rest from work.

2) We take shortcuts in relationships.
Email is great for information and easy chatting. However, it stinks for intimacy or heated discussion. If 85% of communication is non-verbal, email leaves way too much room for misunderstanding. And there is a temptation to send an email--get out what we want to say--and not have to face the person with whom we are corresponding.

3) Time. TV watching per person per day is over 4 hours for the average viewer in the US. This has actually gone up, even while web surfing is going up dramatically. This means that we are spending less and less physical time with one another.

What are good and poor uses of technology in relationships and ministry today?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Starbucks bucks trend and gives generous benefits to workers

Last night on the "Big Idea with Donny Deutsch" (or whatever that guy's name is), the Chairman of Starbucks was on. He talked about how the company tried to really take care of their employees, offering full health benefits for part-time workers and stock buying. He said that he was shaped by the experience of his father being injured on the job and receiving no compensation.

Certainly companies are now offering much fewer benefits. Part of this is necessary to stay in business, but much of this seems driven by quarterly earnings reports and compensation at the top.

I usually have been "pro-growth" and the like, but shouldn't companies think about people as well as profits? As we talk about living missionally, how does this affect how Christians act in the workplace? Should we be driven by the bottom line or by people? What if this means risking our own job because we are not meeting numbers?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Exiles - Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture

Sorry for the posting delay! Blogger was apparently having problems last week. Upwards and onward!

Once Christians felt at home in the United States. Laws favored morality. Prayer was practiced in schools. Our civic leaders were expected to be Christian, and they always were. Churches were at the center of the town square, symbolizing their central place in society.Now, however, things have changed.

Laws are being overturned. Other faiths and moralities are not only tolerated, but promoted. Employers band Christian talk but celebrate alternative lifestyles. And many look everywhere but the church for Spirituality and are hostile towards Christians. We are in exile.

In an upcoming sermon series, I'll address these issues. I would love to hear from you on this. What challenges do you face as a Christian at work or at home? How can we best respond to these challenges?