The need to communicate in our place:
In May 2013 I assisted to an event. It was the fifth encounter of the Alliance of Evangelical Writers and Communicators of Spain (ADECE). A very long experienced journalist who received an award said: “I can not imagine a Spain without good protestant media and without good protestant communicators” (Manuel López). He was one of the photographers at the senate when the coup d’etat in 1983.
His quotation made me think, and turn it into: “I can not imagine Europe without good Adventist Media and without good Adventist Communicators”.
Who are the media?:
The media are very important. Internet, Radio, Television, Press, and any other means are needed to bring the message to every people, nation, tongue, etc. But all this is useless, if those who manage the media are not a media themselves.
Yes! A media ourselves. Paul says so in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3:
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Each one of you, of us, is a mean. The people reads in our lives, how we behave, how we speak, how we look like, how we cook, how we interact with others, our faces, our expressions, our sights…
Some one said once: “One out of 100 people will read the Bible due to evangelism… the other 99 will only read the life of a Christian”. It is an uncomfortable truth, but it is true. There are millions of people who will only read the “gospel” in your life, in our lives. If we are not able to “transpire”, to “breath” the gospel in every aspect of our life, then what will we the message to communicate through the mass media?
Paul says we are “open letters”. We are read by everyone. Who is the sender? When someone reads in your life, from whom will get the message? Who writes in your heart? Paul says: “You show that you are a letter from Christ”.
We have more readers than what we believe. Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 4:9 “We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.” We are more than a letter, we are a “show”, a novel, a drama that is being watched all over the Universe.
Do you remember the movie “The Truman Show” by Jim Carrey? When you think you are alone, and nobody sees you, some one is doing so, always. You can not pretend 24/7.
Who are the communicators?
We are here to work together and set a project. Paul again says, in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” We can apply this also to a letter. A letter gives a message from someone, but a letter will never shine by itself. If there’s a good letter, the reader will not admire the paper, neither the ink. In any case, will admire the Author. So, we, as letters, will only be a mean, and if we do right our task, the people will be lead to Jesus.
Now we are used to “Interactivity”. The first letters were only written, but now we are all used to interact with text, in webpages, mobile phones (smartphones) etc. This “freedom” in the interactivity is given by a computing program. Our “software” has been corrupted by a virus, and we, as interactive “devices”, may affect the message we are trying to preach or give. So we have a part to do in this business of communication.
We have the opportunity of read ourselves to others. We have the chance of speak up in loud voice with means (media) at our disposal. The question is: How do we use them?
We need to succeed in the task of proclaiming God’s message. And probably some of you have come here with one thought: “Why is this not working?”. Probably some of you have realized that “we are doing the same since… so many years ago”. And then we try harder and harder doing more special programs…
Listen, I have a verse from Jesus to you now: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7). Are we “repeating” over and over the same programs, the same projects, the same strategies? God doesn’t hear people who repeat over and over the same, and He is the “BEST” listener ever. So… Why people will do different? People will not listen to us either.
We need to “upgrade” our witnessing. People like stories, people like “fresh news”, they do not like the newspaper of 1960’s. Like a journalist goes out EVERY DAY looking for news to tell, WE NEED to look for NEWS Everyday in the Word of God. Talk to Him in prayer, and have some fresh experiences to tell to others.
We may “teach” about religion with a textbook, give bible studies, and to tell others what to do, or what not to do, give a “report”. But this is BORING. Who remembers the school days on a class of history? Hard to keep yourself awake!
Those who had learned mixing practical with theory have learned much more, and enjoyed far much. And surely you retained more knowledge than others. We need to improve, to change, to try new methods, new strategies. We need to get inspiration every day, and to experience ourselves the news we want to tell others.
Then, and ONLY then, we will be a good Newspaper, with fresh news that everyone will be willing to read every morning.
Only then we will have new stories to tell in our radio station, in our column at the newspaper, or in a TV show, or just to speak about with our neighbor or workmate.
Now, “I can not conceive the culmination of the preaching of the Gospel in Europe without good Adventist Media and without good Adventist Communicators”. All of us are communicators, and we have the responsibility of making of each church member an effective communicator, starting by ourselves today.