I was interviewed about how authority in technology is viewed, here is my answer. (the video is above and the transcript is below).
I think what technology is doing with authority is amplifying it. If the church leader, the pastor, is a good leader—is transparent and has good intentions—then digital media and social media will amplify that.
They’re a good leader when they’re preaching their sermons, they’re a good leader when they’re leading conferences and they’re a good leader on the grand stage, but they’ll also be a good leader on the small stage when it’s just a random Tweet on a Tuesday. Those skills will permeate from them and people will see that. Now, if they’re a bad leader then that will be amplified as well.
Technology, I believe, just amplifies what you really are. Basically people can only hide who they really are for so long. If a leader is on Twitter or Facebook and they’re continuingly putting out messages from themselves, not calculated marketing department-driven messages or messages that are scripted for them, but these are their genuine messages then they will genuinely come out. I think the delivery methods we have with digital media and social media just amplifies who people really are.
Prior to social media and digital media taking off, we saw these mega church ministries and ministers having large followings based on the TV audience and even the radio audience. So, what digital media and social media did was give them another delivery method to showcase the message that they were proclaiming, their sermons and so on, but social media took it to another level where we got to see a glimpse of their actual lives; what they think and who they really are as people.
We can see that on the grand stage they’re great leaders and they preach great messages but on the small stage are these men good fathers, are they good husbands, what do they believe on a Wednesday at 8:55 when the lights aren’t on; how are they? That access and transparency lets good leaders shine on a whole new level and lets bad leaders get exposed on a whole new level.