Sunday, January 24, 2010

I have a googlely dream…

I’m reading this book called What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis, who writes the about the phenomenal business “rules” of Google. As a class assignment, we were to read the book and post our thoughts.

I only have read about 1/3 of the book, but I have read what has been posted online about this book. Jarvis challenges the reader to see what was said about your company, so it seemed fitting to see the google-juice that has been posted about this book (which our TA-instructor Trip Fuller has graciously collaborated!). I will try to summarize my thoughts below:

  1. It is quite remarkable to see many things come to life as I read them in the book and what is happening on-line. Not only do I see a post from Trip Fuller, but I see a reply from Jeff Jarvis (and btw, I wish you were here in the class). The connection of the internet under the “google-rules” seems to be that there is literally nothing in the way between me the writer and you the reader; everyone and everything is at your fingertips.
  2. What makes the transformation of the world so powerful is the effect of multiplicity. It has been theologized in Christianity/Bible (“When two or more are gathered…”) as well as been incorporated into many other religions, but has also been used as an effective business tool by Google and other companies. Donations to Haiti have sky-rocketed due to the effects of multiplicity, having common people like you and me donate $10 every time I send a text message to Red-Cross. Multiplicity gives power back to the people in an institution. Multiplicity gives control back to the people.
  3. What would Jesus do in a Generation-G world? Jesus lived a private and a public life. He liked to pray by himself and he also liked to teach people and heal others of sickness. In a modern context, he represents a facebook page where he can set his identity both private and public. As Christians we are to live a life like Christ, spreading the Word of God and transforming the world with love. I feel like the internet gives that platform to do just that. As Christians we can “surf” into uncharted territories, we can give our opinions, and we can help the world in much simpler ways than ever before.
  4. What would I do in a Generation-G world? Everyone has at least one picture they were happy to not get posted online, and usually at least one picture they wished they could take offline. How do I stay public to the world around me and maintain an identity that keeps me pastorally above reproach? The answer to me is simple: be a human that filled with flaws but sincere to the love in Jesus Christ, publicly displaying your identity in Christ to show a spiritual journey that you had to take to get to this point in your life.
  5. I wonder what kind of business the church would be described. It’s not a big wonder to consider the church as a business: there are consumers who pay for services, and the church provides necessary services to the consumer in the form of worship services, pastoral care, blessings, etc. I’m not saying that this is Christianity (I hope this is not Christianity) but what a business model would look like if it was overlapped with it. However, as Jarvis makes us ask the question: what business is the church in? It definitely cares and serves the people. It brings the presence and love of Christ. It serves the community on any platform or context. We bring faith and hope to those who have lost their way. The church thrives of the generosity of the community that gives back.
  6. I think there is some truth to the polar opposites of Apple and Google when compared to Christianity. Historically speaking, there is a built-in hierarchy in Christianity that we cannot ignore; certainly having a “Google-Christianity” would mean that the people themselves would be the source of the power. The church is built on 2000 years of tradition; the internet is anything but tradition. Then again, doesn’t the church function because of the laity? Doesn’t the transformation of the world begin with the people? The love of Christ comes from top-to-bottom but also from bottom-to-top.
  7. Pastor Stu’s Blog is something to highly consider. The church is in decline, sad to say. We are trying to lure people into our church instead of going out and providing services to them. The internet provides all of the resources for us as clergy/theologians because it provides the people with the problems and the people with the opinions/criticisms/affirmations/hope that life will get better.

I think that’s all I will blog for now, I still want to finish the book! Peace and love, Amen.

1 comment:

Tripp said...

great post Jon. looking forward to discussing it in class with you.