We live in a media mad world. This is especially true of social media. With the rapidly evolving forms media we are being trained to have very short attention spans, quick and often wrong emotional responses, and worse, we are unlearning healthy ways of authentic personal engagement in relationships. This is a self-reinforcing cycle. Low emotional connections to the people around us send us to the device of choice, to a counterfeit connection of relationship or entertainment. The latest device is the new addiction.
We are told through culture that because people have shorter attention spans we have to change the way we teach, speak, and relate to people to keep their attention. Many believe that to be heard we have to literally scream and be ridiculously outrageous to get peoples attention. This is hurting people.
The church has fallen into this pit as well. In round about ways, I’ve heard people say that the church is competing for peoples attention in this media world too, so, make use of all the technology we can, stay relevant, etc, and yes this is true, in some respect, BUT beware of agreeing with the world, do not conform!
Accepting the shortening of attention spans is very damaging and we are losing our ability to meaningfully engage and attend to the more important things in life.
Instead of accepting and going along with culturally dictated norms that only serve to dumb-down culture–and therefore dumb-down the church–we should be continually teaching and training and helping others to grow and use all of our incredible God-given capacities to engage and think and use our brilliant minds!!
God made us in His own image: Brilliant! Amazing! Creative! Strong! Smart! And with incredible abilities and capacities to meaningfully engage our world–God’s world!
He has given every one of us genius in some area. Everyone of us. Our genius is to be used to serve others. This requires incredible attention.
God has given us incredible capacity for attention so that we can serve others. But if we allow culture to dictate to us we will become lazy, apathetic, and inattentive to peoples needs; impotent in loving and spreading the gospel–and so will our children because we will not recognize the vital need to teach them God has so much more and better…
So, NO! I absolutely do not accept what culture dictates as normal. I will be aware of what is happening in culture, but I will not accept it, nor live at a lower standard than God intends.
God has given people incredible gifts and talents. If we learn to be wise in stewarding and developing them, honorably serving God with them, we will be light years ahead of culture–prophetic people. This is what God intends for the church.
We have a responsibility to give the best of our attentions and energies to God, allowing Him to stretch and grow us, so we can serve Him well, so He is glorified on the earth.