As you read the Bible, you see one consistent theme; God desires to be with us. In Genesis, God walks with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. In John, we see Jesus coming to earth, God with us. The book of Revelation reveals that in the new heaven and new earth, God will again walk with His people. From beginning to end, and all through the middle, we see God desiring to be with us.
What does that have to do with Church Tech? Everything! I’ve been reading a book the last few weeks that has really been messing with me. It’s called With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani. His premise is that most of us relate to God in one of four ways:
Life Over God—living as if God doesn’t exist
Life From God—living as if God is a cosmic therapist and butler
Life For God—living to accomplish great things for God
Life Under God—living under cause and effect; we obey God, He blesses us
As I read that, I identified with a combination of Life For God and Life Under God; I suspect many of you would too. The way we technical leaders are wired, we want to serve, accomplish and make God’s glory known. We also understand process, so cause and effect is a native concept to us. It’s also a popular notion in the largely Evangelical churches we typically serve in. Skye is careful to point out—and I want to do the same—that to some extent, these ideals are good.
But then he asks the questions that has really messed me up the last few weeks; What if there is more? What if God doesn’t want me to just accomplish things for Him? What if He doesn’t act like a system I built wherein if I do this, He does that? What if He just wants to be in relationship with me?
In John 14:20, Jesus said, ““In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” I love how Skye unpacks that:
“This call to dwell or abide is an ongoing state of being, not an invitation to chat once in a while.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not close to knowing what it means to live this concept out. In fact, I’m not even going to try to unpack more than this right now because I’m still working through it.
What I do know is that I often find myself working really hard in service of the mission of God, but forgetting about the God of the mission. I know I need to reframe my thinking. I’ve said before (and I’m sure I’ll say it again) that I believe we are about to enter a pretty significant period of change in the church. The way we deal with and interact with production technology is going to change. And if our sense of self-worth is based in how much we think we’re accomplishing for God, we’re in trouble.
There is so much more in this book that will shake you up. Rather than try to explain it, just go buy it and start reading. Aligning with what God has for us could be the most significant thing we do in 2014…