Technological Tools for the Times
It’s a privilege to watch how God uses different people, talent, and methods to accomplish his purposes at different times. Certainly this is true in our efforts to fulfill the Great Commission.
In ancient times, word of mouth was the only mode of communication. Then writing was invented in the Middle East. Use of symbols, Sumerian cuneiform writing in Mesopotamia, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and papyrus paper followed. In the Middle Ages, monks spent their entire lives painstakingly copying manuscripts and artists portrayed biblical stories in paintings. Then in 1455, Johannes Guttenberg, gave the world its first printed Holy Bible .
Fast forward to the 19th Century: telephone and radio quickly become essential. In the early 20th Century, television revolutionizes communications, followed by satellites in space in the 1960s.
With the possible exception of hieroglyphics, Christian people used all these technological tools to share the message of the Gospel. SAT-7, for example, launched its Christian satellite television programming in 1995. Since television is an enormous cultural force in the Middle East and satellite access is available to 60% or more of the population, satellite television continues to be the most far-reaching, cost effective, and efficient means for communicating the principles, teachings, and encouragement of the Word of God with tens of millions.
But SAT-7 Founder and International CEO Terry Ascott reminds us that “Technology is always about tomorrow.” In other words, it’s simply a changing distribution platform. So SAT-7’s greatest interest is not building a network for the sake of technological expansion, but rather, developing “content,” biblically based programming about the message of Jesus Christ. For now, this means SAT-7 must do both, create necessary technological infrastructure, a means to the end, and develop Christian programming, the end. This is a challenge, but it’s also the opportunity God provided for such a time as this.
New forms of communications technology are now widespread and growing rapidly: cell phones, the Internet, blogs like this column, social media like Facebook, Twitter, podcasting, and much more. So SAT-7 has developed SAT-7 websites, Facebook pages, staff members connecting with constituents and viewers via Twitter, RSS feeds, streaming, and other forms of fulfilling its mission. Such ministry innovation will continue.
God’s Word, the Bible says, will not return to him void—no matter what the technological media for sharing it.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved
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