Yesterday I put forth a theory that media may be a contributing factor to killing off the community of the church and society as a whole. Today I want to add to that theory: Has media created a society that doesn’t want to listen?
Specifically I want to address church. I have noticed that many kids are telling me that church is boring because they are just preached at and then they leave. When do they get to contribute? Church has largely been a model where one person spoke from the front in one way or another for the majority of its existence so why are kids saying this and not only kids but young adults and indeed… older adults as well? Has church really changed that much or has society changed that much?
I believe it is the latter. Media has created an idea that either you are being entertained with television or your social interaction is limited to 140 characters (let’s be honest, who reads longer FB posts than that in their entirety?) We have become a society that can skim and judge and put out our opinions with the touch of a screen. Everyone has something to contribute but no one cares about what other’s have to say. If it isn’t a meme or a photo, it’s not going to get nearly as many “likes” or “hits.” This is not conducive to active listening. In fact, the slew of media that are introduced to our young people at such a formative age does not train them to listen and that, I believe is contributing in a huge way to the decline of our culture in church.
So the question is, does the church change to fit the times and create a whole new model based on the idea of allowing everyone to contribute and no one to listen? Are Twitter churches in our future? Is personal community where we look in peoples eyes and listen to what they say and pray for an attitude of understanding during a service to hard to maintain in our Instagram world?