As you may know, our church has started a series out of 1 and 2 Timothy called Reboot. I came across an article (below) by Thomas McNish on why computers should reboot nightly. Given how my mind and heart were on the topic of rebooting and church matters, I saw a lot of parallels. Below is the article, with notes showing the parallels I see. What parallels do you see, if any?
by Thomas McNish (with additional notes for Lead With Joy)
Turning off your computer at night has an obvious benefit: it saves electricity, which saves you money. Rebooting your computer, on the other hand, has less obvious benefits. Most laptops have the ability to go into sleep mode, which makes it easier to skip rebooting. Even though improved operating systems and more efficient computers have made rebooting less necessary, it still has advantages.
[LWJ: Churches do not always need to reboot, but many churches need such.]
Your computer’s random access memory (RAM) is also known as volatile memory, because it’s constantly in flux — as opposed to solid-state memory, such as your hard drive. Your RAM handles lots of different short-term tasks and data, like running processes and holding program values. Rebooting your computer flushes out all this information, allowing your device to start anew and helping it run faster and more efficiently.
[LWJ: What programs are still running and what values does the church have that are holdovers from another time and another place? Flushing out these short-term ministries and matters that served that other time and place, all the while keeping the operating system of the gospel in place will serve the church well. Rebooting flushes these things out so that the church runs faster and more efficiently moving forward.]
Stops Memory Leaks
Memory leaks occur when a program doesn’t close properly. Every program that runs on your computer uses memory (usually RAM) while it’s open. When you close the program, that memory should return to your computer. Outdated, overused or glitchy programs, however, can have memory leaks, which occur when memory isn’t returned to the computer. Rebooting your computer each night can help prevent memory leaks from occurring.
[LWJ: Have we forgotten the gospel? Has our memory leaked as to the primary focus of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission (Matthew 22:37-40; Matthew 28:18-20)? Rebooting in a church means we close those leaks and that our memory would return to Jesus being enough!]
Fixes Small Errors
Many computer users are unaware that when they reboot their computer, it runs diagnostics on itself, automatically fixing minor errors. These errors can range from buggy or glitchy applications to problems with the RAM. This is why you’ll often find that when your computer freezes, or has a problem you don’t know how to fix, simply restarting resolves the issue.
[LWJ: Churches become stuck. Like those computer screens that freeze, churches freeze when ‘errors or glitchy applications’ such as false teachings, adherence to preferences and traditions that do not help the operating system function well. Rebooting by running some gospel diagnostics to resolve the issues will serve the church well. This takes courage, intentionality, and wisdom.]
Every piece of software on your computer has the potential to receive updates, which can add new features to an application or fix issues that occurred with older versions. In fact, Microsoft releases new updates for its components on the second Tuesday of every month, known as “Patch Tuesday.” Oftentimes, you must restart your computer to download and install the necessary updates and patches that help it run quickly and smoothly.
[LWJ: Adding ‘new features’ and changes to a church makes many nervous. Fixing issues in ‘older versions’ of ministries in the church brings a defensiveness, especially if someone is still in the church who helped start off that program. Rebooting helps those new changes been seen with less fear and trepidation and more with a willingness to experiment to see if its gospel effectiveness is strong. Seeing and fixing older versions (i.e., programs) will be welcomed. The point is not the program, but the purpose in reaching and discipling people!]