I (D0n) read a lot. Guess that’s not really a confession coming from someone with a college degree in Literature. But nonetheless …
One magazine I really like is Neue. It touts itself as “The magazine for leaders shaping the future of the church.” Pretty tall order, if you ask me. Sometimes I think it falls short of that goal, but the Spring 2012 issue offers quite a bit of really interesting content. In particular, they asked “13 of today’s most influential pastors” to give advice to “emerging leaders” in the US church.
One thought that caught my eye is from Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. He said, “We have greater access to information than any other generation. But information is not knowledge. What are you doing to ‘test the spirits’ (1 John 4:12) and practice discernment in the Google Age?”
And that’s been a point I’ve considered a lot over the past couple years. There is a wealth of information available extremely rapidly to everyone today, but we know that not every source is credible, not every piece of data is accurate. And, as much as we need to carefully guard our hearts and minds and “test the spirits,” how much more responsibility do we carry as people who work with kids?
I see it as a mandate that we take very seriously the call to teach children and teens discernment and critical thinking skills. How can they be identify the truth within an ocean of information unless they are given the tools to sift it out? Of course the Holy Spirit is our guide, but scripture does teach that we are to “test the spirits” – to use the discernment God has given to decide what is right.
So, how do we step up to that challenge?