We live in a wired world. We walk together as a disrupted society. In just a few decades, the technical revolution has altered the face of communication—not only how we communicate, but with whom we communicate, the speed by which we communicate and the number of people to whom we communicate.
How we communicate has also changed. Communication is happening less and less verbally. If you can avoid a phone call by sending a text, you’ve saved time, and saving time is better!
In an ever-evolving society, where communication is still radically changing, being a communicator of the gospel can be perplexing and even frustrating. How much technology should we accept as pastors? Is it OK to use social media? Does being current equate to compromising the gospel? These questions can stir up some strong opinions. But here’s what I’ve realized: Just because the message is timeless doesn’t mean the method has to be timeless!
Here are four essential communication lessons I’ve learned as a pastor praying to engage people where they are today with the good news of the gospel:
1. The method may have changed, but the message hasn’t. The platforms available to you today have never been greater. So don’t avoid these opportunities. Most social media venues are free! You don’t have to compromise your message. Preach what God has given you to preach—stay true to what you believe, but use what is now available!
2. Community still matters. The reason we’re invested in social media is because we have a need to stay connected to one another. Recently, in my book More I wrote about the “ships” we hold on to in life: fellowship, relationship, discipleship. The truth is, our need for community is a legitimate need. So don’t resist this communication revolution. Understand that it comes from the God-given desire for community and use if for the purpose of the gospel.
3. Stay relevant. If we really want to be purists about the method, we should be teaching from a boat or mountainside. In His day, Jesus spoke to fishermen and farmers. His stories were based on examples people in that profession could relate to and understand. If I try to talk to my congregation in Las Vegas about water/fishing, there will be no connection! So stay relevant.
4. Sunday morning isn’t what it used to be. You have to understand: Your time with people on Sunday morning isn’t what it used to be. Today, it’s only one small part of the puzzle. If you’re not a voice in their lives throughout the week, someone else will be. Use the available social media opportunities. I have thousands of Twitter followers to whom I can communicate instantly. If God gives me a Scripture on Monday, I don’t have to wait six days to share it. I can honestly say, there are times when I have shared a word on Twitter and immediately heard that what I shared literally saved someone’s life!
Paul said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). The results of your ministry are ultimately up to God. But in this ever-changing, wired world, I encourage you to use every available resource you have to share the Good News.
Benny Perez is the lead and co-founding pastor at The Church at South Las Vegas and author of the Amazon best-selling book, More: Discovering the God of More When Life Gives You Less. To connect with him, visit bennyperez.org or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @bennyperez.
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