Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)
Friday, January 11, 2013
A helpful book on the new technologies of communication.
That was the day when my smartphone almost learnt to fly. I was on the phone - the "landline" - in the middle of a l-o-n-g conversation. Meanwhile emails popped up on my computer screen demanding a quick yes/no reply. And then my smartphone started ringing... I rejected the call. It rang again .. four times...
However did we get here ? And after all I am not a brain surgeon, a fire-fighter or a soldier - except in the most figurative sense of those terms. I'm a humble pastor working in a small church in a very large town in France, ignored by the world, submerged in the general noise of 21st century life. Ah, excuse me, there's a text message...
Friends "don't want" a smartphone or even a mobile phone. Email at home is enough. Why be always available? I understand and sympathise with their point of view.
But at the same time I'm a missionary, sent overseas. I think of the heroic waves of people sent to Africa to serve for six months then die of fever before their first letter arrived home. No, this is better. You have to manage them well, but our means of communication are a blessing.
Because communication is what Christian ministry is all about. The word. Spoken, written, typed, emailed, txtd :D, it's all about communicating the eternal word in the ephemeral means of communication of the age in which we find ourselves.
I was afraid of not liking David Clark's book. I spent happy years in the computing industry before entering Christian ministry and some Christian books on computing are deeply embarrassing. But not this one. He knows what he's talking about. He writes with grace and rare common sense. He sees the need to embrace communication technologies, but also to master them rather than to have them master you.
Don't throw your smartphone through the window. Keep calm, have a nice cup of tea or coffee and read this book. Learn to use your PC, phone and smartphone with discernment. Master them before they master you.