In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast, Todd Adkins and Chandler Vannoy are joined by Jason Thacker who serves as the Chair of Research in Technology Ethics and is also the Director of the Research Institute at ERLC (The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) of the Southern Baptist Convention. They discuss how technology is shaping our walk with Christ and how we as church leaders can navigate the most difficult aspects of our digital culture including the rise of misinformation, conspiracy theories, social media, and polarization.
“One of the primary disciplers of your people is actually their smartphone.” – Jason Thacker
“While we think we can disconnect, we really can’t in some sense. A lot of it doesn’t come down to is it just bad or good because I think both of those options fail to describe what technology really is. It is a good gift from God that we can use it in good and bad ways. However, it is something that is shaping and forming us so it’s not as neutral as we’d like to think that it is.” – Jason Thacker
“While we want a quick fix or a checklist of 5 things that we can do to write off our relationship with technology, we need to start thinking from a biblical and ethical perspective. We need to realize that these bad habits didn’t form overnight. Likewise, good habits aren’t going to be formed overnight either. It’s going to take time, wisdom, discernment, and intentionality.” – Jason Thacker
“Technology is causing us to go faster, faster, faster. We find that everything has to be more efficient, more convenient, more and more and more. Sometimes stepping back and slowing down is what causes us to build better habits and patterns in our life that can help us see wisely and discerningly about what technology is, but also how it’s forming and shaping us. Particularly, how it’s forming and shaping our people.” – Jason Thacker
“Technology is not merely a tool, it’s actually something much larger than that that is shaping and forming us as people.” – Jason Thacker
“A lot of things we see online are being shaped, formed, and curated just for us. They’re personalized to us and so I think we need to recognize that every time we go online. These things may or may not be true but they’re often fed or shown to us for a particular purpose and a particular reason.” – Jason Thacker
“One of the ways we are conformed to this world today in our digital age is through the use of technology. What we need to do as Christians is to be seek to be transformed by the renewal of our mind by the renewal of the Holy Spirit as we seek to walk with wisdom and discernment in our digital age.” – Jason Thacker