How would you define the “Information Age?” According to Wikipedia, the Information Age is a period in human history characterized by the shift from traditional industry that the industrial revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based on information computerization. In other words, today’s marketplace, which is here to stay, is primarily focused on one commodity-data.
The exciting prospect is that, with the increase of information, there is even a greater need for God-honoring leadership. The words of Paul in II Timothy 3:7 describe our world today, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” The sheer volume requires even greater discernment and discipline to grow in wisdom and knowledge of the holy things.
The reality is that we live in a maturing information age that provides a new context in which to influence others. In fact there is generation of “coming of age” adults that doesn’t even personally know a world before these realities. What was once flashy and novel is now familiar and normal. How do we wade through the plethora of data and highly impact those we are called to lead in the home, workplace, church, and community?
Here are two quotes that are profoundly impacting my style of leadership:
1. Years ago, the phrase ‘I don’t know how to do that’ died; the internet murdered it.” (Acuff)
As leaders in this post-modern world, we must confront ignorance as inexcusable, apathy as enemy number one, and the weighty stewardship before God of managing our ready access to virtually everything.
I Ti 4:16 “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
2. “Today…teachers are necessary for interpretation, not information.” (Elmore)
While we are still to live and preach the truth, our role has shifted slightly in the day-to-day. Our lips and keyboards must be focused not only on the biblical content but also the Spirit-led context.
II Ti 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Sadly I still observe in me and many others a tendency to miss this shift in leadership. Gone are the days where any of us can practice “because I said so” type of influence. Every human being that lives in our home, works in the next cubicle, or sits in the pew has access at their finger tips to a world of secular and sacred data. While the Bible is “forever settled in heaven,” we must represent Christ to a world and believers who are increasing well-read and many times over-exposed to the content of this world.
We are not speaking into vacuums and voids; we are trying to pour sanctified influence into minds and hearts saturated with a deluge of conflicting voices, experiences, and philosophies. I am praying that the Lord will raise up leaders who not only communicate the “what” but the “when, how, and why” aspects of truth that desperately need to be heard by our “never coming to the knowledge of the truth” world.
What other concepts, practices, and verses have increased your influence and effectiveness as a leader in the twenty-first century?