Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Roman Road

Jesus said: "Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20 The Message

We are called to go out and share the gospel of Jesus. So, how can we do that? When I was growing up, one of the measurements used asked us to record our "contacts" every Sunday in Sunday School. The data collected reflected the number of people I had actually invited to come to church with me. There were many times that number was "0". 

Today, there are many more opportunities that provide avenues to share God's Word, but are we using them? While inviting the unchurched to come to church is still important, each one of us has many more ways to give witness to our beliefs. Social media is one way. There are new "apps" every day that increase our ability to communicate. In the 'old days' a handwritten note would be mailed to keep in touch with a visitor; now an email or text can accomplish the task almost immediately after a visit. How are you using your social media tools to share Jesus with others?

In the June 2012 issue of Christianity Today's magazine, Robert Crosby sheds some light on the expanding world of technology and how this is impacting Christianity's witness. More people are becoming "engaged" in reading the Bible because of smartphones, tablets and laptops. He specifically gives the reader an update on YouVersion, the "fastest growing Bible app for mobile devices." Another segment features the creator of "the Bible page on Facebook." Sometimes posting a Bible verse on Facebook gets "10,000 responses from around the globe" in as little as 10 minutes.
Crosby writes: The ancient Roman roads spanned more than 250,000 miles... enabling both the empire to grow and the gospel to advance rapidly. Today's Roman roads are the Internet, the smartphone, the tablet, and social media, ready and waiting for innumerable journeys of faith and witness. While the ancient roads connected hundreds of towns and cities, the new ones connect millions of homes and individuals.*
Opportunities in this new era are expanding as I type and hold vast possibilities. In a recent discussion of social media the question was asked, "How do you use Social Media to spread the gospel of Jesus?" Most of us have email accounts, and many of have Facebook or some similar social media. We text to keep in touch and share pictures and "moments" but do we utilize these tools to speak the name of Jesus?  Share a Scripture, a song, a quote, a thought, a photograph, a video that says Jesus love you! Start a blog! People are hungry and thirsty for the Word of God. As Oswald Chambers often said, "Be the broken bread and poured out wine." to someone. Take the New Roman Road. Try it today . . . and the day after and the day after! - dho

* Christianity Today, "The Social Network Gospel"; Robert C. Crosby, June 2012, pg. 36-40.

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