Is Netflix Killing Missions? Tony Reinke on Media and Technology

In a risk-averse culture, missionaries are tempted to withdraw into their screens. The solution is to be transfixed on a greater glory.

“Stay safe, stay home” may be a reasonable mantra during a pandemic, but that thinking long-term suffocates the missionary spirit. Most of us are already technology-addicted, and now streaming video services like Netflix are arguably making it harder to be faithful as a missionary. This week, Tony Reinke of Desiring God explains why the missionary endeavor depends on modern, media-saturated Christians choosing to forsake their fixation on worldly spectacles and get lost in a greater glory.

Tony Reinke is senior writer for Desiring God and author of Competing Spectacles (2019), 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (2017), John Newton on the Christian Life (2015), and Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011). He hosts the Ask Pastor John podcast and lives in the Phoenix with his wife and three children.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.