Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Lens of Change

Written by: on November 12, 2015

Lens of change

Lens of change

Asa Briggs and Peter Burke in their book A Social History of The Media from Gutenberg to the Internet, look at the progression of life through the lens of change. Change is not always any easy thing to grasp and at times it can be viewed as positive and negative at the same time. Their self declared vantage point was contained in the introduction. “This book will concentrate on changes in the media; in presenting them, an attempt will be made to avoid two dangers – that of asserting that everything has got worse and that of assuming that there have been continuous improvement. Either way, the implication that trends have moved in a single direction must be rejected, although writers trusting in it have often been eloquent and distinguished in their own fields” (2)


The author’s personal journey of reporting the changes in “the Media” was to focus on major movements and changes in technology but also in the perception of the change as they were lived out. Steam and electricity would be a good example of this following of change.   How it affected society as it changed and forced movement away from the past and into the future. There was not an immediate jump to embrace the change but eventually the convenience of the change and the nature of the change became necessary.


Interesting in the preface it was revealed that the authors themselves, writing about the Internet and progressive change would “avoid” the use of these advancements.   “note that the text was written partly in long hand and partly on a personal computer by two academics whose resistance to driving cars and using email is in no way incompatible with an interest in technology and social change in the present and the future as well as in the past.”


The vantage point of the author dictates the reporting of the subject at hand.   In reading there is a focus on the facts of the information and some opinion of the change is given but often it is simply from the viewpoint of a reporter reporting what has been seen or heard.   So they would be witnesses to the change but not necessary in favor or against the change. Almost like they were neutral to the change. Or maybe they were even slow to change. Or resistant to change.



A couple of things that are of interest to me were their reporting on two subjects that I find intriguing.   One was their observation concerning a “failed” product, the videophone. “There was one feasible invention which did not take off- the videophone- much “flashier” than a voice- alone phone.” (262) It is so fascinating that the ideas of man that were before there time when connected to today’s technological advances it makes perfect sense.   I can talk to my family from around the world for free from this simple idea that didn’t work at the time but now is a basic standard for the simplest cell phone. How the layering and building of the development of social media and communication media has progressed and become a standard for countries that at times would be considered third world but the simple “videophone” is now a part of their world.



The second would be the introduction of globalization. The quote that I take away from there is simply this. “Globalization might be inevitable but we don’t have to like it” The progression of the media and the progression of man as a whole are going to happen but how they are embraced or rejected or even tolerated dictates the happiness of those who are enduring the change.   Change is some thing that happens and we can either like it or endure it but it is going to happen.


It is refreshing to look factually at change not with a bias one way or the other. This is incredibly difficult and gives a different viewpoint to work from. Change will happen and will continue to happen. To determine if it is good or bad is still to be seen.



About the Author


Kevin Norwood

My name is Kevin Norwood and I have been in youth ministry for the past 34 years. On February 14th, 1994, 27 years ago, we moved to Owasso OK and wow what a ride. My wife, Ann, is an RN and specializes in Clinical Documentation working from home. Maci is a my 21 year old daughter and she loves and shows horses. Her horse's name is Charlie. She is currently working with animals and loves to go on trail rides with her horse. London is my 10 year old son and he keeps me young. He absolutely loves life!! Golfing, baseball and Hawaii is his latest adventures. He skied for the first time in Colorado this year. I have started a coaching business for pastors at www.kevinnorwood.com and it is exciting the doors that God is opening. I earned my Doctorate in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox on Feb 10, 2018.

10 responses to “Lens of Change”

  1. Marc Andresen says:


    “Globalization might be inevitable but we don’t have to like it.”

    What do you say to such a person to show them the advantages of globalization? Are there any? As we think of leadership, what is the advantage for Kingdom work in globalization?

  2. Marc,

    I believe globalization brings us closer to fulfilling the goal and command to take the gospel to the whole world. I remember taking a mental note when Billy Graham spoke at the memorial service for the Oklahoma City Bombing that this was the first time that the secular media scrambles to make sure that the whole world could hear the message of hope. Incredible that tragedy brings people to the gospel.

    This globalization brings the church closer together more than anything that I know. Denominational issue have really taken a back seat to global issues. Take tonight in Paris as I am writing this. The world is praying for the tragedy and travesty that has happened there. Why because of TV? No. Because of radio? No. Because of this new globalization media platform that makes everyone a reporter. With a camera!! What a major change in just a few years of development.

    Thanks for challenging me to think even further about this subject.


  3. Aaron Cole says:


    Great observation about the authors view of media and their hesitation towards it. I was “reading” so fast to complete the assignment that I did not pick up on it. It serves as a reminder that everything has a prejudice or is subjective in some way or another.


  4. Phil Goldsberry says:


    I’ve said and heard that the only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper. Briggs and Burke led us down a path that shows that change is inevitable.

    As you said: “The quote that I take away from there is simply this. “Globalization might be inevitable but we don’t have to like it” The progression of the media and the progression of man as a whole are going to happen but how they are embraced or rejected or even tolerated dictates the happiness of those who are enduring the change. Change is some thing that happens and we can either like it or endure it but it is going to happen.”

    The inevitable is going to happen. Working with youth, what do you see as the inevitable that they will be facing?


  5. Kevin Norwood says:


    Teenagers are embracing the racing speed of social media and their style of communication like no other generation. The norm for them is to have the issues like Paris on their phone the instance it happens. If they have friends in any place that tragedy is happening they are searching and finding them NOW.

    Response and reaction time is at an all new. So communication looks so different to them. I try and keep up but the speed it moves at and morphs at is incredible.

    Snapchat is the one that I am watching right now. They are taking a shaky platform and making it a rival for twitter.

    But think about this the inevitable is that there is going to be a need for a savior! How phenomenal that miracles that happen around the world can be previewed and posted worldwide real time. When a mass group of young people get saved or healed or baptized, that can be broadcast to everyone. Amazing days that we live in.

    Google has also transformed their platform in the middle of being an individual company that is incredibly successful to a platform for all of their companies. A monopoly of communication. Something that a few years ago was dismantled but is now being embraced.

    Interesting days as this globalization brings us toward one.


  6. Pablo Morales says:

    Thank you for your reflections. I also enjoyed the fact that the book did not have an opinionated tone. There were so many interesting facts that it was fascinating to see some of them unfold in a single page.

    Your blog reminded me of a PBS series that I watched with my sons a few months ago. It is called How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson. It is almost like the book, except that is a video with a very engaging story line and graphics. If you enjoyed the book, you might also enjoyed the documentary.

    As you pointed out, change is inevitable; we may not have to like it, but we have to adjust to it. Reading your blog made me reflect on the fact that change will not only happen, but it is also happening even as I write. Every second brings with it one new step of change. Based on your ministry experience, what are some key generational changes that you have observed? How have you had to adjust to them? I’m interested in learning from your insights.

  7. Claire Appiah says:

    Thanks for your refreshing and insightful blog.
    You have given me another perspective on Briggs and Burke’s presentation of The Media. As you indicated they are like neutral reporters or witnesses reporting “what has been seen or heard.” I appreciate the in depth manner in which they treat the subject matter, but now I have an even greater respect for their writing style because now I see a greater purpose in striving to be objective in reporting the facts about the social history of the media.

  8. Nice summary and thoughts Kevin. Do you think this book helps put a greater context to working with teens and their use and influence of media? Are you currently enduring or liking all the changes happening?

  9. Kevin Norwood says:


    The social media changes that have happened over the past five years are more than I have experienced in 27 years of working with teenagers. What have I done with it? I have embraced it and continue to learn at the fastest speed that I can. Communication in this generation is so different than before. Everything you say or do can go global in just a matter of seconds so the awareness of that in what you do and how you handle circumstances is important.

    Also your messages and truths that you present have a chance to bounce to your students friends in a second. If you make a great point, or if you explain the Bible in such a clear way that it gets repeated than you are advancing in this generations communication patterns.

    Snap chat and periscope are things that I am trying to perfect and use for the gospel. Not quite there yet but we are progressing every time we use it.


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