Stewardship with Adults Under 40


This summer, July 29-31, Luther Seminary is hosting a conference on the theme Stewardship with Adults Under 40: Possibilities Abound. I’m attending (and will be giving a presentation titled, “New Ideas, New Media, New Moves”) and I’m really excited to think about these great questions with those gathered. As we say in the south, “Y’all might should come along.”

The event website is here. A promo post of mine went out yesterday in the Stewardship for the 21st Century e-newsletter. I’ll excerpt it below, and encourage you to sign-up for the newsletter (and finish reading the piece) at this website.

Stewardship and Social Media 

I wake up to my iPhone alarm blaring. A few minutes later, I’m reading my local newspaper, then the New York Times on my iPad, sharing interesting articles on my Facebook wall and tweeting others. Next, I drive to a coffee shop and pay with Square, an app on my phone that syncs with the iPad at the counter. Using Square, when I enter the coffee shop my headshot automatically appears on the iPad and the barista simply says, “Thanks, Adam” after I order, pressing her finger on the screen to charge my credit card. I make a mental note to pull up the app and add a tip later. Finally, I arrive at church, checking-in on Foursquare, a geo-location social app that connects with my Facebook check-ins. Before silencing and putting away my phone, I respond to a few comments on the newspaper articles I shared earlier. Finally, I settle into my pew.

Such a tech-heavy Sunday morning is not unusual for me, nor for other Millennials or Gen Xers. Indeed, culturally speaking, perhaps the most unusual part of that scenario—sadly—is that I actually end up in church at all. Mobile technologies and the social media abilities they allow are not going away. Their ubiquity calls the church to action in a least two ways.

First, people of faith must ask the question: “How is God calling us to be stewards of social media?”…. read more at Stewardship for the 21st Century


  1. Elaine Sveet says:

    Great article Adam. The end of it got me thinking. You wrote ‘ Then, in worship, I put my phone away and connect to God. I wonder if such a stark distinction is poor stewardship of my phone, and perhaps, even an improper response to God’s gifts? ‘ It made me reflect on something my husband and I are debating. When we move to our new house should we move the tv out of our bedroom? We are feeling that maybe removing that tempting technology out of our bedroom might help us to be in better relationship with one another. With the tv absent we hope to read more, talk more, connect more. Technology is wonderful. What are phones can do is impressive. But there are some things they can’t do. I like the idea of the PC(USA) daily scripture app. I love all the information and connections possible with facebook etc, but part of my being still and fully present in the presence of God involves setting aside some things. When I have the pleasure of sitting in the pew. I like to hold my hubby’s hands or have one of our little ones on my lap. My hands are held by them, and my heart open to God. Everything else will have to wait. In that moment I am all God’s.

    • Thanks for the comments and good points, Elaine.

      Re the TV, I hear you. Megan and I don’t actually have a TV at all, though I think that’s not really the point. Some have written about having their bedroom–or a certain time in each day–as a tech free time/zone. So you might consider that, no matter what you end up doing with the TV.

      I totally get your other point about connecting to God in worship, but I do find it interesting you talk about holding your husband’s hand and having a kid on your lab. That connection, in fact, is what many get via their smartphones. That was my point in the intro–I’m connecting to all these great people via mobile technology in much more intimate ways than I am to those in the sanctuary. Heck, I don’t know their names and they don’t even know I’m there if I’m sitting a few rows behind them. I wonder if we can use those devices to support relationships–of those gathered, and those not.

      Thanks again for the comments!


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