Why does communication still seem so difficult and daunting for so many people today? With all the websites and social networks that we access with such ease through all of the latest gadgets and iAccessories, you’d think it would be easier than ever for the Church to share the Gospel with the world. The reality is that connecting with people seems harder than ever!
Meaningful communication with our fellow human beings in today’s society is an interesting paradox. We’re more connected than ever through social media and online networking, yet we’re also more disconnected than ever. Our quaint Church slogans readily boast our intention that “We are all here for the world”, and that “We are all here to reach the world”, yet our efforts are all too quickly inhibited by our inability to communicate effectively. We really must ensure that our slogans are not just decorative! The majority of us seem to be able to live out our Christian lives ‘most publicly’ in church on Sunday mornings, where we sing out those glorious praises to God at the top of our voices and feed ourselves with the mightiest of sermons. Anyone looking in would think that Christians must be the most confident and powerful of communicators on the planet, with our well choreographed services and well structured feel good sermons, faultless and well trimmed – and there is nothing wrong with that per say. Of course, as soon as we finish catching up with church family over a cup of coffee, we then retreat to our silent Christian lives for the remaining 6.5 days of the week shutting the doorway of ‘Evangelical Communication’ to the world around us. Indeed we may gallantly forward on that ‘all-encouraging-Christian-soundbite’ that appears in our Inbox from time to time that, probably originated in our Christian social network – but for most that would be as good as it gets! Yes, the picture that I am painting for you is very bleak, and indeed we know that around the world today there are so many faithful Christians laying down their lives for the Gospel, however this article is not intended for them for their reward in Heaven will be great! No, on the contrary, this article is identifying what the majority of believers are not doing, as there is simply so much need in the world today, and we can not afford to sit on our laurels – for souls are at stake here. For the Lord said, “For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and yet loses his souls” (Mark 8:35).
You see, as soon as the Lord was raised from the grave, and was with His followers for just a little time before ascending to heaven, the first believers didn’t waste time – they started to communicate with the world around them. Their faith was so real to them that they had to share it with others. Face-to-face, door-to-door, village to village, country to country, all the way to the grave! Doesn’t that form of Christianity appeal to you – one that is authentic and passionate, one that has put feet to its faith. And amazingly, all that the early believers had to communicate the Gospel was a horse, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit! Look at what we have today: ‘horse-power’, the same Word of God, the same Holy Spirit, and in additional to this we have the World Wide Web, social media, phenominal graphic design, iPhone Apps and the latest technology to deliver the Gospel – and yet we remain crippled to communicate! All we need to do next is just combine Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and then we can truly look at our own profile image and say to ourselves “You-Twit-Face!”. I’m not kidding!!!
Today’s technology makes communication faster, but I am not sure it is better. You can’t make a genuine connection with someone by ‘texting’, ‘emailing’ or ‘friending’ alone. When you meet someone in person and share a meal together, you see how that person interacts with you and the people around you. You observe their body language and how they carry themselves. That’s where the true chemistry happens: face-to-face, one on one. That is how the Lord Jesus Christ touched peoples lives. We would do well to do the same! Don’t get me wrong, we must utilise every social network available to us on our computers and mobile handsets as a channel to share the Gospel through – and that is what our organisation does to a great extent (please visit: www.avantiministries.com). Our organisation devote a lot of energy to developing multimedia presentations that we share with people through the web, and we have seen the Lord save many souls through such efforts. Many of our evangelists share the Gospel by showing a powerful evangelistic clip or presentation with the people that they meet, however this does not happen before some effort has gone into building a bridge in a personal and relational way. We must not forget that the Lord invites us into a personal loving relationship with Him, face-to-face. We should not aim for anything less!
In this post modern age, we find our culture and behaviour weakening and breaking down. We focus in without distraction on the slightest backlight, ringtone or vibration from our cellular device. Have you noticed how we automatically allow a text from “anyone in the world” to interrupt some of the most important face-to-face meetings that we have. We have become a rather rude generation. Just imagine if we monitored, tracked and paid atention to reaching the unsaved around us with the same type of concern and paranoia – I think that if we did we would literally reach this world in no time at all!!!! Please don’t be challenged by these words, instead be upset about them – because I sure am!!!!! Upset about it enough to do something about it.
The focus of these notes is to get people to think outside of the box, and to get people out from behind their computers and neat mobile screens and out into the world making connections with real people. That is what Jesus did. He took the time to speak to a person at a well over a drink of water. He had time to go to someones house to personally share the Gospel with them. He had the time to stop to give time to one very old and sick lady when He was in the centre of a huge crowd of people all around Him. He really did take time to spend time with people. He took time to explain to complete strangers the Good News that could redirect their eternal future!
In this modern world that we find ourselves, let us all try our very best to improve the quality of our lives by not enslaving ourselves to our latest gadgets as much, and by devoting more time to others around us. Let us all try our very best to improve the quality of other peoples lives, by getting more connected with people in a loving and personal way, building relationships and proclaiming the Gospel to them. Let’s meet people in the ‘highest definition’ of all, face-to-face.
Try it today. Go and find a precious soul. Smile, show warmth, shake their hand and share the most wonderful news that exists. Share the Gospel with that person!
Keep on keeping on…