I’ve been reading Clay Shirky’s new book Cognitive Surplus. The book is challenging my thinking on the impact of social networking and all things digital on society. In the book, Shirky notes that people in the United States spend 200 billion hours a year watching TV and it took only 100 million hours to create Wikipedia. What does that really look like?
The point Shirky makes is that all of these hours – billions and billions of them – represent a lot of time that could be harnessed, organized, and put to use. I think this relates to children’s ministry in a powerful way. Kids are incessantly interacting with digital tools and we could harness that time and energy into something extraordinary. We could create the tools for them to make an impact on other nations, to interact with one another for the purposes of faith formation, or to put Scripture in words they can understand.