‘We’ve stopped becoming fishers of men and have become keepers of the aquarium.’ That’s a quote I heard recently. It was a reminder of how easy it is as Christ followers to focus on taking care of our churches and pampering other Christians more than reaching those who don’t know Jesus.
The aquarium is reverberating. Through the use of technology and social media, we are now connected to believer’s around the world, in an instant. We can consume the teaching of endless communicators. We can fill our friends list on Facebook with other believers. We can follow other Christians and even get a sense of connecting with the untouchables – the big names – on Twitter. There is a constant stream of noise coming at us and reflecting from us as we add our own. We are not only keepers of the aquarium, the aquarium is reverberating.
Guilty as charged. I am a part of this monster. I’m a huge fan of leveraging technology and social media to further the cause of Christ. I’m an avid user of both. I see the benefits.
Here’s the challenge. The conversations we are able to have via these technologies has created an environment where, if we’re not careful, we can spend all of our time talking amongst ourselves. It is happening.
Church leaders are pontificating, sharing insights, pimping their blog, promoting their conference engagements, gathering crowds of other church leaders, making a name for themselves, the list goes on and on. Activity is deceptive, especially when we equate it with impact. Impact happens when people’s lives are truly being changed as a direct result of our efforts.
Christians are engrossed in chatting, twittering, video chatting, blogging, etc., with each other so much that it’s possible to get sucked into this social and media vortex and never come out. ‘Us four and no more’ has taken on a whole new relevance.
Here’s what I’m doing about it. Because I am in this thing, I am asking myself two questions:
1. Is all of this chatter empowering me to be more effective in reaching people for Christ? Really? Are more people coming to Christ as a result or are we simply connecting more believer’s with each other?
2. Is there a significant return on investment in my own spiritual growth? As a result of all this time spent consuming the ‘noise’ generated from these social media and technology platforms, am I growing at a proportional rate? Really?
I will continue to champion the use of technology and social media. They are great tools. I will also try to not waste time endlessly consuming its content. They can enhance but not replace the behaviors and actions that are vital to our spiritual growth and engaging in relationship with our neighbor across the street. The aquarium is reverberating, consume with caution.