I thought this morning, and of the past few days, of the meaning of the Christ-follower’s tenant to be “in the world and not of the world.” Today, I thought of the church, and how that becomes reality with the church.
Here’s what I think: It is obvious that if the church shows no interest in the world, then the world will show no interest in the church.
Now, to you, that could mean several different things, so even saying something that general is open to the vaguest of interpretations. And the longer I’ve been in ministry, the less I believe that the church should look like the world. The flash and bling, great stages and cool graphics are nice, and allow great and fluid communication, but that doesn’t really give us a presence in the world. If we are honest, it just makes us look more like the world from which we are calling people. So I’m not so sure a statement like that one above means the way we “look.”
(And for an interesting comment on this, exegete Hosea 4:6 and following, about how God views worship leaders and religious leaders who lead worship that “looks” like a world with a disdainful and sinful culture. That should shock any minister or pastor.)
But I think the world offers tools of communication that we should use. After all, if God has given us great abilities to communicate, then shouldn’t we use those?
I am fascinated by marketing. I am fascinated by the way the world receives messages, and the way smart companies communicate those messages. I am often frustrated by demure ideals of communication, especially if they are offered as “the way we’ve always done it.” The world is quicker and faster and more skeptical than ever. We have a timeless message, but we have to condense it in a world that only allows for about 140 characters of space.
So take a look at this graphic. It’s an interesting look into the world of marketers, and how they access and utilize social media. Cool stuff, and great learning for those of us trying to convince others to follow Jesus.