No, this is not a post about Communion. It’s about being wherever you are. Tim Aynes at Missions Mandate recently linked to an interview by Paul Borthwick on short-term missions.
Paul comments on social media, saying,
It’s getting increasingly difficult for Westerners to be emotionally present where they’re serving. Rather than becoming culturally immersed, they go out during the day and do ministry, but come back at night to check their Facebook pages and update their blogs. They don’t become part of the local culture because technology is keeping them connected to home.
I recently listened to Os Guinness speaking on “Survival of the Fastest.” (I downloaded it some time ago so I have no link for it. If you google it you can find several links.)
Guinness commented on being at an Anglican conference (GAFCON), during a communion service, sitting beside ten African bishops. He says that six of them were on their cellphones at the high point of communion. “They were not present.”
He speaks of being at some political gatherings with major speeches being given, and looking around and seeing all the congressmen on their Blackberries.
He continues with this assertion about technology: “The good news is you can do business everywhere. The bad news is you can do business elsewhere. … So often we are with people and we are simply not with people.”
The impact is not just on foreign missions. It is on home life (being constantly “plugged in”), personal relationships (when was the last time you were at lunch with someone who was checking their cellphone for texts or email). Technology invades our life in some dangerous ways.
So here’s my advice (which I am working hard to take): Wherever you are, be all there.