Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Technology and Short Term Missions

Interesting article about the relationship of technology to short-term missions. When we didn't have the ability to keep up with friends and family while in a far-flung place, this wasn't an issue as it wasn't really possible. However, now that the Internet is so pervasive, I would think it is a strong temptation for short and long term missionaries to remain closely connected to their home, with a consequence being that they are not fully engaged with the culture they are ministering to.

There's plenty that is good about technology in this sense. Those that support missionaries can get very timely updates about how they are and what needs they have. However, how to use the technology so that it serves this purpose but not to draw the missionary away from engaging with friends in their own culture is difficult.

Kristy and I have lived in three different towns since we were married. I'm very glad to keep up with some of our friends from the previous two towns via Facebook as I want to know what's going on with them. But, I can certainly see how people can get so involved with friends on Facebook that they don't make time for friends that are real and present here.

While I miss many people that are in other locations, I'm called to be with those that are here, geographically. In spite of Internet hype, geography is still an essential factor of life, and I think the more deep ministries (e.g., of the church) recognize that.

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