I have loved watching my own church pivot in this crisis. Embracing technology as a way to bring us all together.
Some churches that never even recorded their sermons were able, in no time, to livestream their services, to provide ways to do youth group Bible studies via Zoom, and maintain prayer chains through texting and social media. Churches without even a website address found ways to enable their people to give their offerings online. Some churches had to find a way to vote on calling a new pastor with online voting or drive-through affirmations.
This sort of creativity will not end. The fact is that though many, if not most, churches can plan for a “re-opening” some time in the foreseeable future, in almost every case, this will not mean dropping live-streaming and other forms of connection but adding in-person gatherings to what we are doing now.
“We think we have a relationship with someone [when using social media] but what we have is a connection,” explains Larry Rosen, an expert in the psychology of technology at California State University. “Connection is part of communication, but it’s not all communication. Communication is pulling in various cues about the person you are communicating with that include things like body language, tone of voice, a roll of the eyes. Through social media, you don’t get that. You are reading what they wrote and then jotting down a few words of comment, but it’s not the richness of communication.”
The cop ticketed Adam and called us a tow truck. We crammed the three of us into the tow truck’s cab with the massive sweaty driver. Then we rode back to Adam’s camper. Adam despaired. He told us how he’d gotten thousands of dollars in debt and fines before this, got kicked out of college, and long since stopped believing in God. That may have been one of the crappiest car rides in Adam’s life, but this was the most honest and meaningful conversation I had ever had with him.
I love how Josh compares the conversational/relational aspects of Oxenfree with those that we have in real life. I’m a guy who loves deep conversation. Surface level hellos, just not enough.
Neat to think that a video game captures those moments of connection. The interactive medium continues to mature.