Grace and Gigabytes: Being Church in a Tech-Shaped Culture
Grace and Gigabytes: Being Church in a Tech-Shaped Culture explores change and ministry at the intersection of technology, culture, and church. In today's tech-shaped culture, we learn and we know through questions, connection, collaboration, and creativity--the networked values of the digital age. Drawing on experiences from a career as an instructional designer in the technology industry and a lifetime of leadership in the Lutheran church, Ryan M. Panzer argues that digital technology is not a set of tools, but a force for cultural transformation that has profound implications for ministry.
Grace and Gigabytes explores shifts in culture that have heightened amid accelerated adoption and use of digital media. Just as previous revolutions in technology have disrupted culture, especially processes of cultural "meaning-making" related to faith and spirituality, so we are living through a powerful revolution of digital technology, culture, and spiritual thought. This revolution calls the church to change. This needed change requires not so much a shift in tactics: launching a website, building a podcast, or starting a social media page. The change is a philosophical pivot: prioritizing collaboration, making the flow of knowledge more dynamic, celebrating connection and creativity, and always affirming the question. Panzer discusses each of these philosophical pivots, describing their technological origins. He tells stories of ministries that have aligned to this cultural moment. And he provides concrete recommendations for the practice of ministry in a digital age.