Published on March 12, 2014
Andrew Sears President, City Vision College Executive Director, TechMission Jesus Geeks: Equipping Technology Ministers to Serve Digital Natives
Lessons on How to Serve Digital Natives Based on Past Mass Migrations Rural Urba n Online/ Digital
Lessons from Urbanization 1. Urbanization presents new problems and opportunities 2. Rural parents not fluent in parenting urban children 3. Need balanced urban-culture fluent parenting and teaching 4. Need to teach new models for ministry to address new opportunities and problems
Lessons for Virtualization 1. Online world presents new problems and opportunities 2. Digital-immigrant parents/teachers not fluent in parenting/teaching digital native children 3. Need balanced digital-culture fluent parenting & teaching 4. Need to teach new models for ministry to address new opportunities and problems
Opportunities and Threats from Technology for Digital Natives Opportunities Threats Growth in diversity Growth in deviance Many options/connections Shallow focus & relationships More information More temptation Less global poverty More domestic inequality Decreased autocracy Decreased accountability Viral church growth Viral cults Megachurch network growth Wal-Mart Effect on Churches Increased specialization Holistic church decrease Increased Capacity for Good Increased Capacity for Evil
How Do You Prepare Future Technology Ministers to Address These Needs?
Incarnational Ministry Philosophy Become a Jew to the Jews And a Greek to the Greeks
Incarnational Ministry Philosophy Become a Jew to the Jews And a Geek to the Geeks Jesus was the first techie (Tektōn)
“Technology is anything invented after you were born, everything else is just stuff.” -Alan Kay
Techies Digital Natives Diffusion of Digital Culture Time Bilingual “Age Out”
Incarnational Ministry among Digital Natives Are we becoming bilingual/bicultural by immersing ourselves in their culture? Are we meeting them where they are or forcing them to meet us on our cultural terms? Are we preparing them to live in the world we grew up in or the world they will live in? What indigenous leadership development of tech leaders strategy do you have?
Masters in Science, Technology, Society & Ministry Program Design Modeled after similar programs at MIT & Stanford ◦ Interdisciplinary like Science, Technology & Society programs, but much more practical ministry focus Designed… ◦ To balance out training of tech staff in Christian organizations ◦ To function as an incubator/startup accelerator for technology ministries ◦ To equip future Chief Digital Officers ◦ Around project based learning
1. Theology of Technology 3 . Organizational Systems Emerging Media Electives 4. Appropriate Technology 2. Theology of Work (Identity) Capstone Course MSTSM Program Design 5. Limits of Tech & Tech Addictions 6. Financial Sustainability
MSTSM Courses Required Courses Theology of Technology Theology of Work in STEM Professions Systems Thinking Emerging Media Ministry Appropriate Technology in the IT Field Capstone Design Capstone Project Electives History and Case Studies of Technology in the Church Technology and Addiction High Tech Social Entrepreneurship Grant & Proposal Writing
Examples of Helpful Responses to Issues with Digital Natives Lack of ability to focus in depth: “The Shallows” Device distractions in the classroom Tech addictions Tablets with kids Spiritual formation online
Questions for Discussion 1. General comments or questions 2. What advice or suggestions do you have to make the MSTSM program more effective? 3. How would you change this program to better meet the needs of tech staff and students from your institution? 4. Ideas for ways City Vision could partner with your school?
MSTSM Program Outcomes 1. Theology of Technology: understand the philosophy, theology and historical context of technology in ministry and how to apply that in professional settings 2. Identity and Calling: understand the vocation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers and their unique identity and role within their field in a way that maximizes their calling and enables ministry 3. Systems: understand complex systems in a way that helps them to effectively lead others and apply technology in ministry and professional environments 4. Appropriate Technology: develop effective technology programs in a way that takes into account the unique cultures they will be serving and how to use technology to serve the poor and cross-cultural communities 5. Limits of Technology: understand some of the limits of technology and how to counter some of the negative implications of technology and its effect on relationships and creation of new addictions 6. Sustainability: develop effective strategies for sustainable technology ministry initiatives by monitoring and understanding the latest theories, trends, tools and opportunities in technology in ministry and business professions.
Re-imagining Internships What if the internship replaced the campus as the center of education? What if every class had a major project designed to be applied in an internship or ministry setting? ◦ Each class provides a lens to be applied at internship CityVisionInternships.org ◦ Designed as a Christian counterpart to AmeriCorps based on 9- year AmeriCorps program placing 500+ interns ◦ Over 500 applicants annually to be placed in about 50 ministries ◦ Ministry sites pay tuition of interns
Past Debates: Writing Key Debate: Will writing hurt learning? “For this invention [writing] will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them.” – Socrates in Phaedrus 274c-275b) Writing enabled knowledge discovery to be modularized from rest of learning process
Past Debates: Books Big Debate: Should a professor only teach from books they wrote? ◦ “…If we use Sasso’s book, theywill say what our students have learned, they have learned from Sasso, not from us” –John Paul Nicolas, 1588, expressing concerns about not using grammer books that they had written themselves Books became modularized from rest of learning process
A Potential Future: by 2030-40… More than half of majority culture US Christian colleges will either close or will shrink by more than 50% Non-western Christian colleges will grow by 10- fold ◦ May have cost structure 1/10 of Western colleges More than two-thirds of enrollments will be online General education courses online will be commoditized and will be offered by a few large centralized players (i.e. Amazon.com of education)
Potential Future by 2030-40: 4 Models of Colleges 1. Resort College ◦ Residential colleges become counterpart to elite private high schools ◦ For the rich and upper middle class (Saks Fifth Avenue) ◦ Costs will continue to go up 2. Inexpensive online & community colleges ◦ For middle and low income (Target, Walmart) 3. Inexpensive international colleges 4. Non-accredited free educational programs
TechMission/City Vision Strategy How do you lead in a disruptive technology environment in Christian higher education? 1. Gather the Christian disruptive tech leaders (Jesus-Tech) 2. Retail Strategy: Provide innovative (tech) Christian university for serving at-risk communities (Jesus, Justice) 3. Wholesale Strategy: Provide tech capacity (tech) to Christian minority-culture schools (Jesus-Justice)
Modular Transformation of Computer Industry Source: Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove
U of A U of B Virtually Integrated University Univ. Unbundled University Open Lessons Open Courses Study Groups Adjunct Faculty Adjunct Faculty Faculty Networks Churches Internship Univ. Univ. Univ. Research Lab Corporations Individuals Open Content Publishers Self- Publish Univ. Knowledge Discovery Written Knowledge Course Materials Faculty Community Student Community The Unbundled University Knowledge Discovery Written Knowledge Course Materials Faculty Community Student Community Churches U of C U of D
Strengths of STEM Christians • Logic and analysis, Rational/methodical • Objective/data driven • Meritocracy • Innovation/Efficiency • Collaborative, Open • High leverage Weaknesses of STEM Christians • Analysis paralysis • Lower emotional IQ • Perfectionism • Communication/Public speaking/Shyness • Isolated (personally, society) • Risk adverse • Distant from end use • Unknown whether you are helping others • Arrogance of rationality • One part of many/anonymous Opportunities for STEM Christians • Tent Makers • Natural missionaries to STEM fields • People leadership in tech field • Create stuff that helps those in need • Magnify reach of other Christians Threats/Challenges to STEM Christians • Faith in rationality/logic/numbers • Attacked for faith • Legalism • Working for wealth • Limited work in STEM for direct ministry • Isolation: from gadgets • Addiction to gadgets • Loneliness • More frequent crises of faith • Instant gratification/impatience
Tech & Missions ICCM, Lightsys, MAF, GEM, EMI, WIN, OB VisionSynergy, AIBI Wycliffe IT, CheckItOut Tech & Ministry Internet Evangelism Day, Mobile Ministry Forum, YouVersion, ABS, Cru Christian College STEM Programs AccessED, ACU, Calvin, Taylor, Baylor Biola, Olivet, Fuller, Wheaton, Liberty Christian Media Online, Magazines, Software Publishers, Radio & TV Church Tech LifeChurch, Menlo Park Saddleback, Willow Creek Christians in Tech Companies Code for the Kingdom, Christians in Tech (FB & LinkedIn) Christian STEM Academics Christians Engineering Society, Intervarsity Faculty, Cru Faculty, ASA, ISCAST, ASA, CSS Christian Tech Writers Media Ecology, Ministry, Marketplace Ministry Economic Development Business as Mission Tentmaking For ProfitNonprofit General Tech Specific Churches Parachurches Christian Education
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