During the last decade, many surveys have been carried out to learn more about the religious affiliations, beliefs and practices of American pastors and to ask them how they handle complex challenges when it comes to the church and church-goers. And, even recently, they were asked how their ministry landscape has been coping with a dramatic change like the COVID-19 pandemic. However, less is probed and known about how technology adds a new dimension to their pastoral ministry.
When someone is called by God to be a pastor, he has to watch over the church members and reach out to people with the good news of the Lord. However, there are many unnoticed things a pastor does besides preaching and being the shepherd of the “flock” such as comforting a family during bereavement, performing eulogies, giving counseling to youngsters and depressed individuals and so on. Tasked with creating new strategies and methods to share the gospel and strengthen the faith of members of the church, pastors often have to make use of the new technology.
In this digital age, where Generation Z is constantly growing up with easy and immediate access to technology through smartphones, iPhones, tablets, the internet and social media, pastors have no other choice than to use technology as a tool for evangelism.
In this article, I hope to make Christians understand how technology changed the role of a pastor…in a good way, of course!
Technology as an Importance Resource
Every Christian knows that Jesus said in Acts 11:26, “Go into all the world, preaching and telling people to obey what I have taught you to obey.”
Preaching is the hallmark of Jesus Christ’s ministry. Whether people choose to listen or not, a pastor has the responsibility of delivering the message of salvation through Christ and how to follow Him. In fact, there’s a couple of things that preaching accomplishes and my favorite is how preaching the word of God can uplift Christians from their deep sleep of ignorance. There are also many people around the world who don’t know our God or perceive Him in a negative way. When the gospel is being preached, it brings these individuals to know God as He should be known with love, kindness and compassion.
Some people believe that the more familiar a pastor is with the gospel, the easier it is to preach to a congregation. That’s not true at all. Reading the gospel and teaching it to a congregation is a completely different matter. There is much preparation involved which includes prayer, study, and practice, asking the Holy Spirit for help and loving your congregation. There is no perfect sermon, but it is not easy to preach every Sunday unless you are a responsible, conscientious pastor who really loves God and wants to minister to his people. Sometimes, if a pastor is preaching in a church of 150 people and if two or three families leave, it becomes a big deal and everyone takes it as the pastor not preaching with his own intelligence and not by the Holy Spirit.
When one is seeking to give God’s message, he needs to be prepared and studying is part of that preparation –I’m not just talking about studying biblical scriptures, I’m also talking about studying the Christian philosophy and theology. The internet offers access to a wide variety of Christian books and ministry tools that prove to be very beneficial to preachers and pastors. In fact, some of them claim that they would not have been able to have half the Biblical knowledge they have without the advent of eBooks, Kindle Daily Deals and other technological tools and software.