For the leader: Next Sunday is the final week of our “Screen Time” series. Take some time this week to talk with your group about what you plan to do next as a group. As a church, we will be starting the “ Bystander “ series (six weeks). Following along with our Sunday morning series is always a great option for your group! We find that talking about what we hear on Sundays, actually increases the chances we will apply it!  Additionally, if you aren’t following the groups Game Plan as a group, this is a good time to take a look at it. It is designed to help your group create some great Rhythms! Your groups director can tell you more about it if you need.

The questions below are designed to be a guide and starting point for good conversation! You don’t have to ask all of them, and you can even add your own. The goal of tonight is not to finish these questions, it is to get your group talking openly about what God is showing them about this message. We encourage you to pick and choose from the questions below!

Things have changed so much in just the last 25 years in regards to technology. We used to just have a desire to be entertained and now our endless appetites have been met with endless access. This has led us to our current reality with technology. Technology is the new gluttony. It’s an area where we can overindulge in a way that’s unhealthy. That’s why we said we need to know what we believe about technology and the role it should play in our lives. Technology has given us so much, but it’s cost us some things too. This is why we’ve focused on the words of Jesus from Matthew 16:26. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself?

Oftentimes, we don’t really know when we’ve gotten unhealthy with technology. We don’t have someone to take our “tech blood pressure.” Additionally, not all tech usage is equal. Thirty minutes in the Bible app isn’t the same as thirty minutes on Facebook. We all know people who are on tech too much, and we would all say there’s a way to go too far. But where’s the line? We all need to (personally) define what a healthy range looks like!

Start Talking

  1. We finished our conversation last week discussing three ways we could determine if we are using social media wisely (all three rooted in wisdom from Proverbs)
    • How much time do we spend on social media (Proverbs 4:23)
    • Evaluate who we follow on social media (Proverbs 13:20)
    • Think through what we post on social media (Proverbs 10:19)
    • Did anyone attempt to implement one of these ideas? How did it go?
  2. We also discussed last week that technology in and of itself isn’t good or bad, but rather the way we use it makes it good or bad. So, lets celebrate! What’s something good technology offered you this week?
  3. What is one app on your phone that you feel adds to your life?

What About You?

  1. In what ways do you feel this series has affected you and those around you in a positive way?
  2. Sean mentioned several side effects of having endless access to technology. As we read through the list, identify 2 or 3 of them you have experienced (Have 2 or 3 people share what they identified).

Less Sleep
Poor Sleep
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Relationship Ruining
Attention Issues
Emotionally On Edge
Memory Issues
Auto Accidents
Sadness & Fear
Less Productive at Work
Lack of Peace

Look It Up

While it may seem extreme to say that technology is having so many negative side effects on us. It is important that we have a conversation about how our phones are affecting us, because the world of technology isn’t slowing down. Therefore, as we have discussed each week, a “Theology of Technology ” is vital. Let’s take a look at God’s word for some more direction on how to build our own.

  1. Read 1 Corinthians 6:12  together. Paul, the author of this book is writing to the church of Corinth. The intention of his statement is to address sexual immorality taking place within the church. However, this principle applies to many areas of our lives, including our use of technology. ANother way of stating what he said could be, “Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should”. Just because we CAN do all the things on our phones, doesn’t mean we SHOULD. How do you see this principle applying to you personally?
  2. Paul also ends his statement by saying “ I must not become a slave to anything.” You may or may not feel enslaved to your phones. But our guess is that you have felt enslaved to something at some point. In those seasons, how have you adjusted your heart and habits?
  3. At the end of the message Sean read Romans 12:1-2 . These verses begin with a directive to offer ourselves as a ‘living sacrifice’ to God. We know that through the whole of scripture the act offering a living sacrifice to God, positions one to worship God and receive from Him in a way they could not prior to the sacrifice . We see this in the Old Testament, as God followers sacrificed animals, and in the New Testament with Jesus, being the ultimate living sacrifice. What would it look like for you to  offer your technology to GOd, as a sacrifice, and allow Him to show you what role he wants technology to play in your life? What do you think you would get in return?

What Now?

  • In order to not be enslaved to our phones, we need to have a plan. It could be said “No one ever ruined their lives, because they had a plan. Rather, our lives are ruined because we don’t have a plan”. From the list sean shared in regards to personal rules around our phones, which do you need to implement immediately?

Use the Screen Time Feature
Have a bedtime and wake time for your phone (Do not Disturb Features)
Give your technology a bed away from yours
Use “Night Shift”
Turn off notifications
Delete Social Media Apps
Turn your phone to grayscale
YouTube restricted mode
Give your spouse/friend full access to your phone
1-1-1 Rule: 1 hour/day ) meal, 1 Day/week (sabbath), 1 week/year (Vacation)

  • For those of you that have kids, which of these “Rules’ ‘ do you need to implement immediately with your kids? Remember, we want to parent in a way that is best for their long term development over their short term happiness.

Slower and later is better
Use a phone contract (If possible, before they get their first phone)
Keep technology out of their room
Put up devices an hour before they go to bed
Use the parental controls
Set screen time limits on games/apps
Read their text messages
Increase their freedom the last two years of High School
You own the phone and can view anything

  • What has this conversation shown you about God’s heart towards you?

Helpful Resources

Here are a number of resources Sean mentioned in his talk today for everyone and some specifically for parents we think that will be helpful for how to win with technology.

For Everyone

Reflect on Your Digital Wellbeing by Google (Assessment)
Internet Addiction Test by Psycom (Self-Assessment)
Are You Addicted to the Internet? by Psych Central (Assessment)
Screen Addiction by Wise Traditions (Podcast)
Why (and How) to Change Your iPhone to Grayscale by Apartment Therapy (Article)
How to Turn on Night Shift by Apple (Article)
How to Set an App Time Limit on iPhone and iPad by How-To Geek (Article)
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer (Book)
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr (Book)
Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter (Book)

For Parents

10 Best Parental Control Apps by Consumer Advocate (Article)
The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch (Book)
Cell Phone Discussion Guide for Middle Schoolers (Discussion Guide)
Teen Cell Phone Agreement by Josh Shipp (PDF)
Cell Phone Contract by iMom (PDF)
Cell Phones & Technology with Andy Stanley (Video)
Generation Z Unfiltered by Tim Elmore (Book)
Parenting Through Technology Timeline by ParentCue (PDF)
Technology Through the Phases by Orange (PDF)
Digital Driver’s Ed by Gabb Wireless (Article)
Why Ministry Leaders Need to Talk About Technology by Ministry to Parents (Article)