Bosco Peters has reproduced an article from a local newspaper that has some very interesting quotations from The Digital Nun, Sister Catherine Wybourne. I’ve written previously about the autonomy of social networks and made the comparison between the digital revolution and the printing press so I won’t produce the article in full here. However, there is one really interesting point that Sr Catherine makes:
“Being web-savvy should be a required skill for religious leaders in general”
This harks back to a conversation I had with a colleague about what professional expectations are made of those in positions of church leadership. When I was an RE teacher there were expectations of my capability that extended beyond my ability as a theologian. The government insisted that I must be able to pass a literacy test, a numeracy test and a computing (ICT) test before I would be allowed to enter the classroom. The government decided that without those skills they consider essential or required, I would not be able to effectively discharge my duties as a classroom teacher. People who trained in a previous era were given ongoing training to facilitate their careers and allow their cumulative years of wisdom to continue to guide and instruct the youth of this country.
So what are we doing about this level of aptitude as The Church(TM)? Many of our church leaders move into positions of managerial responsibility but at what point do we train them for that task? If we are fostering an online as well as offline presence in our communities, at which point are our leaders being equipped for that? Before they are selected? During training? Continuing Ministerial Education? I think I know the answer.
I need to ponder this one. What do you guys think?