Pastoral Ministry Is For Turtles

This, of course, is not the world we live in. We live in the age of instant. We want our WiFi to fly, our coffee ready, our music streaming, our shopping at the speed of Prime, and our social media and news feeds constantly refreshed. As Cal Newport helpfully observes, our age mitigates against “deep work.” And pastoral ministry is the ultimate deep work. In 2009 David Gordon concluded that Johnny Can’t Preach in large part because Johnny can’t read and write. The modern day preacher seems increasingly unable to do the deep work required given how media have shaped the messenger. Gordon was prophetic writing before smart phones, Twitter, and texting became ubiquitous in the culture making his thesis still more tenable. In the last decade there’s been a steady stream of scholarship focused on the impact of digital media on the mind. And not only on our minds, but our humanity itself may be at stake. The literature is ominous regarding the effects of our technological age. Read more»

Mike Pohlman, “Some Pastors and Teachers: A Manifesto” (August, 2018)

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One comment

  1. And the irony is that so many people feel that this technology is actually making them (and their children) smarter and more productive. No need to learn to spell, the computer does it for you… need to learn math, there’s a calculator on your phone. Reminds me of George Jetson’s wife, Jane, who is all worn out from a day of pushing buttons. Just thinking about work is exhausting.

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