Going back to some recent conversations, there are always two streams: the technology that is and the technology that is right around the corner. In trying to wrap the the concept of mobile ministry into terms that are both accessible and visionary, I’m often drawn to visions of interactions that look as if we are in a mobile-friendly city of God.
I see worship spaces augmented with virtual components. I see the call to salvation not stopping at a call, but becoming a thread of continuous communication that develops from discipliship relationships to friendships. I don’t see mobile terminals as they are now, but embedded and transformed by context (a screen when needed, voice when needed, etc.). I see the challenge of access and censorship driving private business and policy creation – and the conversations open around causing believers to mature (not just increase in knowledge). The attention to detail in respecting one another’s cultural narrative causing faith to not have a slant (Western, American, Global South, etc.) but respecting the entry point, and cultivating a common faith – not necessarily common practices.
Such thoughts are indeed quite utopian, and can be considered both profitable and unrealistic. But, I think that there is the need for such visionary explorations from time to time. We shouldn’t get stuck in our thoughts (the paralysis of innovation), but engage in utopian thinking when it is best used as a lens for examining our ideas about how we would like to live. Not so much that it is going to happen, but that it is a possibility to happen and should spark imaginations and actions.
One of the statements that describes some of the imaginations that drive MMM sounds a lot like the statement made here. Ours appends things a bit, but carries much of the same reach:
What happens when the experience of faith lived out happens without the differentiation (borders, boundaries) between physical and digital spaces?
In that new space, how are the children of God living? What are they doing? What are we cultivating at the feet of the King? What aren’t we cultivating, and why doesn’t that make sense anymore?
When Jesus had this conversation/encounter with the Samaritan woman (woman at the well) in John, he pulled apart her perception of the current state of things and gave her a vision of His spirit as it existed in a space that was not like the accepted or rejected paradigms of their time. He gave her not just the potential, but the utter reality that His Spirit would endear citizens to live wholly different holy lives.
I believe that many of us dream of these interactions, these spaces. And these are indeed healthy and should be encouraged. When we stop dreaming – or take a break from dreaming to live – what are we taking from that dream’s pronouncement into the lives of people around us? And if it is the King of Kings we are taking, what tools won’t we use to build out the better temples?