Thursday, July 03, 2014

July 3rd: Examining the call and reinventing evangelism

It is a beautiful sunny day and unseasonably mild temperatures for the beginning of July. Temps are mid 70s and humidity is low for Southwest MO. It is very comfortable on the deck and the windows are open in the house.

It's a rare week that I don't end my work week with a mid-shift, but such is the case this week. I had hopes of skating out of work early tomorrow and heading to central Illinois to join my cousins and family for a 4th of July celebration, but life happens and it looks as though I'll stick around here. I could get the time off of work, but figure to go ahead and take the holiday pay. Maybe I'll invest it in a new kayak.

Chris was scheduled to work tomorrow but managed to get it off. She still has to work on Saturday, though.
She is planning on taking in a Jackson Browne concert Saturday night. I'll stay home and watch the fights. I'm not sure if I just have weird interests for a guy my age or just don't have any friends that share those interests (which would indicate that they might be a little strange--the interests, not the friends). Or it could be that I really don't have many friends (likely). I usually end up watching the fights alone and that's perfectly okay. I am pretty much of a loner when it comes right down to it.

I've heard it said that writers are often happiest when they are alone. That would be me...if I was a writer! Maybe that is something that I really need to focus on.
The whole loner thing has me considering what I'll be doing in retirement from ATC and whether or not the ministry thing is really my calling or my choosing. I'm not sure that I can explain that. Those that know what I'm talking about also know that it's difficult to explain to someone that doesn't.

In recent conversations with pastors and evangelists, it seems that today's evangelist is going to have to approach our calling in different ways than we have in the past. I've been thinking about an online revival.

Although I am a technological moron, I do know guys that are real tech geniuses. Although a video presentation is very possible, I'm not sure that an audio file wouldn't be a better choice. Even a written sermon series might do well and reach an audience that would never go to an actual church revival service. Such files would be easy to share with friends via text messages, emails or social networks. I know that there are already thousands of daily podcasts and blogs. I follow some of them. I also know that I reach--and you reach--many people that do not.

Maybe the writing thing and ministry thing are meant to come together in a new kind of work for me--electronic revivals from the comfort of my own well shaded deck! I can type away while enjoying a good cigar and a cool drink (or hot one in cooler seasons) and preach away, free from the judgment of otherwise well-meaning brothers and sisters in Jesus.  (The cigar thing might not work for a video revival!)

I'd be interested in hearing your opinions on such an electronic revival--especially from pastors and other evangelists. Would an audio file that could be listened to during your commute or while you walk/run/exercise be an effective way to share the Gospel? Would a YouTube video message that you can listen to at your convenience be more effective at reaching today's active family than week long revivals at 6:30 PM every night?

I do not believe that God's message of love, grace and salvation has changed.
But, perhaps it is time that our methods of sharing it should change.

John <><


Fran said...

Interesting...I, too, listen to various pod casts occasionally. I prefer to read things, since I am easily distracted. Of course, that doesn't work for driving, working out, etc. so I am probably not a good one to gauge by!!! Also, I know you, so would probably watch or listen because of that...I do agree, the old way just ain't workin'. You know we have been involved in more "emergent" churches and like the idea of new and different approaches. It took me a while to get used to the "convenience" idea..but we gotta do what works. I hope to see sone discussion on this..I have no fear your retirement hours will quickly fill, and you will wonder how you ever had time to work. Life has a way of happening...

John Hill said...

Thanks, Fran.
Been praying for your mom ...and her daughter!