The Youth Specialties blog is written by and for youth workers. As someone whose last involvement in youth ministry was attending youth services in high school, I find it a great place to read about the issues youth leaders face today.
In a recent post, Brooklyn Lindsey discusses some of her thoughts on cell phones and youth ministry:
I recently returned from a summer mission trip where we made the unfathomable decision to collect cell phones for an entire week. A few students needed us to help them through the night sweats and uncontrollable shaking, but for the most part, by day two, all was well in the world.
We ended up having a week of deepened relationships, focused conversation, and focused service to others. Students could call their parents from the adult leaders’ cell phones but other than that, they were free…so to speak.
Three days after our trip I found myself in our local college/ young adult ministry setting. We meet in a local coffee bistro with live music and awesome discussion. My husband is the leader, so I love the ministry, 30 Below is something I look forward to every week. However, one thing was really obvious to me after having a week free of technological interruption, everyone around me (dozens of people sitting around tables) sat in this all too familiar conversation with eyes darting every few minutes to their lit up phones. Even if it was to simply “check the time”, we were all there…but not really. I started to wonder if I too, if our phones have become our safety, our fall-out plan.
We’ve all been around someone who can’t stop fidgeting with their phone or some other piece of technology, and I’m sure we’ve all wondered if they were really paying attention or if they were off in another world. It’s interesting to hear of youth ministers physically taking devices from teenagers in an effort to bring about some semblance of normalcy to their lives. Perhaps it’s a discipline we should all practice from time to time.
Do you think technology can keep us from fully experiencing our relationships with people? Or do you think our relationships can be made better through the use of always-on tech? And more importantly, what about your relationship with God? How do those bundles of circuitry help or hinder your connection with God?
By: Chris Salzman. This entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 8:26 am and is filed under Holidays, Technology, Youth Ministry.