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Principles for Smart Phones and Missions

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A flat out ban of smart phones may be necessary for those who can’t self-govern and who will hurt more than help, but it is not optimal. What’s optimal is that missionaries can look at reality and ask, “Will this aid or hinder my witness?” Adventures (along with our ministries such as the&n…
By Seth Barnes

A flat out ban of smart phones may be necessary for those who can’t self-govern and who will hurt more than help, but it is not optimal. What’s optimal is that missionaries can look at reality and ask, “Will this aid or hinder my witness?”

Adventures (along with our ministries such as the World Race) is a missions organizations responsible to all those who go with us for representing Jesus well. When we create policy, we look at these principles. Other mission agencies will have their own principles.

 

Our witness to hosts. The quality of our witness to our hosts is more important than our access to wifi.

Staying present. Our society struggles with focus. The World Race teaches racers to not worry and to not wallow in things they can’t change. We want to live in the present.

Love the ones you’re with. We communicate preference by how we treat those we are with on our teams and with our hosts. 

Own your race. We ask Racers to be intentional. We encourage them to take ownership of their race.  

Media is neutral. It can be a source of life and a source of death. How we use it is the issue. 

Media addiction. It is normal in our society. Most of us can’t resist temptation. It must be broken if we are to get to health. Media addiction’s downside is well-documented.

Breaking addiction. Addiction is broken by abstinence and limiting temptation.

Abandon. The first stage of Abandon has been a central principle in the spiritual formation process since the start of the World Race. 

Abandon requires leaving. We leave the things that have defined us so that God can re-define us. Smart phones are the conduit for attachment to much of what we’re leaving.

Comfort zones. The process of Abandon is circumvented by a retreat to comfort zones. Self-governance implies monitoring comfort zones.

Self-governance. Self-governance is a life lived with self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit. We are more interested in the process of learning self-governance than we are in a set of rules.

Communities that self-govern. We exercise self-governance first as individual racers, then by teams and then by squad. It is possible for an individual to self-govern, but to be a part of a dysfunctional team or squad.

Freedom. Choice is a gift that must be stewarded with prudence and accountability.

Communication with home. Communicating your journey to supporters is a good and necessary thing on the Race. Not communicating is a problem and communicating daily is a problem.

Boundaries. Racers are adults and need to establish boundaries in order to walk through the process of individuation (becoming an individual who thinks for themselves).

Alignment with intent. The Race is a kingdom journey – an experience that creates space for intentionality in the spiritual formation process. To be successful it requires an absence of distractions and comfort zones.

Conversation. We want to foster shared meaning and shared commitment.

Culture. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We care about our World Race culture and what potentially undermines it. 

For more see Smart Phones & Mission Trips

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