Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Behind the Times?

Someone gave me a subscription to Time Magazine last year, and as it ran down, Time wanted me to re-up.

Now, the odds of that happening were pretty low. Magazines are an outdated, dying communication medium. I get so much info online through e-newsletters, blogs, Twitter feeds, etc., that I don’t need information from a source that can only guess at what I might find interesting.

But their “enticement” is what really interested me.

For renewing my subscription, they were offering (are you ready) an “Ultronic 7-in-1 Casino Game Player.” You know, the kind of handheld video game that was cool back when, well, back when magazines were relevant.

Today I can download ten better games on my Blackberry for free or nearly free—and my friends with iPhones or Droids can choose from dozens.

An outdated communication medium (a magazine) trying to attract customers by offering an outdated toy.

Made me wonder, though, as a church are we trying to attract potential believers to an outdated presentation of God’s ever-relevant Good News. And are we using obsolete communication tools to do it?

It also challenged me. Times change (even if Time Magazine doesn’t.) Communicating to an ever-changing culture means we have to change, too.

And if we choose to attach ourselves too tightly to the methodologies that are working today, in ten years we’ll run the risk of being just as irrelevant as a 80’s handheld electronic game in a smartphone world.

6 comments:

Rob_T said...

Question - can the depths of scripture be reduced to a short text message? I know the issue is communicating, not the value of magazines. That's just your illustration. However, while magazines might not come to us as quickly as a story we can download, the reporting is more detailed, more in depth. The writing (depending on what one reads) is deeper and generally better than what we'll find online. Try reducing Romans to a twitter message. We might come up with something pithy, but Romans is not pithy. Romans is deep, gripping theology, and one has to take time to read it - slowly - more than once. Sometimes, rating something on whether or not it is outdated is not the best rating system. As for magazines - it's just a matter of preference. As for communication that caters to our ever shortening attention spans, I get very nervous about the growing Biblical illiteracy and shrinking theological depth that is rampant in churches today.

Steve Davis said...

Rob, I agree. It's interesting, as online communication has gotten shorter, sermons seem to be getting longer. With magazines, the problem isn't the length, it's the delivery. Non-interactive messages that arrive (at least for news) days after the fact. That's why we're watching magazine after magazine fold, while the ones that exist are desperately trying to find a way to hold on.
What we have to be careful is not to attach our "comfortable" communication strategy to the Gospel. Romans wasn't originally studied by men behind desks with a shelf of reference books behind them. It was read aloud, usually in its entirety, to a breathless audience. Nobody even broke it into chapters for a thousand years. (And, just to stir the pot, almost all of Jesus' recorded teachings are basically blog length.)

Celest Canute said...

Communication apparatuses are ever-changing and it's beneficial to identify those new apparatuses/methods and then apply them to be most effective. What's even more exciting is the fact that when these new methodologies are put into place that people's lives are changed for the good; even if only one person comes to Christ through the deployment of new methods, then it's worth it. Yes, I realize that when we are trying to reach a World of sinners that one person doesn't seem like a lot but it is in God's eyes. Why? Because that one person might be the next to take the Gospel to minute parts of the World or maybe that one person has a gift to reach a group of people, say thousands, in which traditional methods have not worked. The verse that keeps coming to mind is Matthew 18:20-"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." I believe that God is always present whether we are alone or gathered together, but I also believe that God is telling us in this verse that we can come together and God will make a way to take care of whatever needs to be done. When he is "in the midst" that doesn't mean he has left us high and dry, standing with our mouths dropped open. He is with us through it all; and that also means via new methods of communication. I wouldn't totally abandon older methodologies but spice them up and improve them with a taste of the newer methodologies. I'm no expert and I'm no biblical scholar by any means but I enjoyed reading this blog and thought I'd reply with what came to mind.

Rev Ronnie Roy Sr said...

Pastors & churches perpetually, over centuries, have always made hard choices for their eras of time. Still will and do.

2 On Front burner choices since Christ below:

1. Should pastors & churches change centuries old messages, their infallible book & what worked for centuries, since Christ. That converted sinners, saved souls, changed lives, restored the broken, healed the sick, set the bondage free, lead nations to greatness? In order to be "hip" to their current world, to draw their world, entice their world, to be accepted by their world, to look/dress/act/live like their world. In order they'd be accepted by their era's world. To not offend none nor nothing.

2. Or does a pastor/church choose to follow Jesus' direct commands? To "Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel. Teaching them to observe all things, that I have commanded you." Knowing Jesus came, lived, died,ascended. To "save souls", "change lives & the world". Not to be converted by the world, change to the world, or to be accepted by the world.

Truth: "Love not the world, nor things (their entertainment, talk, dress, look, lifestyles, music, life philosophies)in this world."

Sorrowfully, lots of traditonal churches did that. Changed first their true book, then music, then songs, then leaders, then message, then dress, then content, then doctrines; in that godless order. To worldliness, to be accepted, liked, act, look, dress, live like their world era.

In laymen terms. Those pastors & churches changed to the world. To be worldly acceptd, to attract greater numbers and dollars. And not to offend. All by way of enticing the world's flesh. Not to convert the world's souls.

Rather than doing as Jesus, the Apostles & centuries of preachers prior. Whom went into & converted the world to Christianity and the Christian way of life.

I and our Messiah Holy Baptist. Non apologetically will always be about converting the world of sinners, to Christianity and it's way of life. Not them converting and changing me, or our church. To their way of life and philosophies.

Changing the church to the world way of thinking, living, and way of life. Is why we now have the rampancy of homosexuality engulfing the nation, world, and old Christian church pulpits. Same as the women's movement. Converted the Christian church, to their way, to falsely ordain women. To be accepted of the world, not to be accepted of God.

To be or not to be-as the world or God? That truly is the question of all ages eras; not of shakespear!
Ole Joshua had it right "choose ye this day, whom you will serve". God and truth, or the world and falsehood. I & Messiah Churh chose God & truth.

Ole Christian greats Luther, Spurgeion, Moody, Wesley, Sunday, Whitfield, Rice. Shake their fists at these latter-day, worldly converted churches of worldly entertainment, man authored books, falsehoods & disgrace of demise.

A simple process! If it's numbers one is lookng for? Go worldly, but lose truth, and Godliness. Due "Narrow is THE way, that leadeth unto righteousness, and FEW (not multiples) there be that findeth it. Wide is the road that leadeth to destruction, and "MANY" there be that travel it." Shall always be so each era!

The true church, true pastors & true way of life has always been a "smallest of nil minority", of each generation. " Same true today. Due to rampancy of compromise, decadence, and wickedness, permeating itself, across the naton, world, it's institutions, infrastructures, & Christian church. Pitiful, but propheced to be so, in lasts days. And we're there!

Jesus is coming soon for His church without spot or wrinkle. Not for entertainment centers of falsehoods. Choose! I chose God & truth. I advise you do likewise!

Pastor Dr Ronnie Roy Sr
Messiah Holy Baptist,
Carolina Lakes NC

Rev Ronnie Roy Sr said...

Pastors & churches perpetually, over centuries, have always made hard choices for their eras of time. Still will and do.

2 On Front burner choices since Christ below:

1. Should pastors & churches change centuries old messages, their infallible book & what worked for centuries, since Christ. That converted sinners, saved souls, changed lives, restored the broken, healed the sick, set the bondage free, lead nations to greatness? In order to be "hip" to their current world, to draw their world, entice their world, to be accepted by their world, to look/dress/act/live like their world. In order they'd be accepted by their era's world. To not offend none nor nothing.

2. Or does a pastor/church choose to follow Jesus' direct commands? To "Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel. Teaching them to observe all things, that I have commanded you." Knowing Jesus came, lived, died,ascended. To "save souls", "change lives & the world". Not to be converted by the world, change to the world, or to be accepted by the world.

Truth: "Love not the world, nor things (their entertainment, talk, dress, look, lifestyles, music, life philosophies)in this world."

Sorrowfully, lots of traditonal churches did that. Changed first their true book, then music, then songs, then leaders, then message, then dress, then content, then doctrines; in that godless order. To worldliness, to be accepted, liked, act, look, dress, live like their world era.

In laymen terms. Those pastors & churches changed to the world. To be worldly acceptd, to attract greater numbers and dollars. And not to offend. All by way of enticing the world's flesh. Not to convert the world's souls.

Rather than doing as Jesus, the Apostles & centuries of preachers prior. Whom went into & converted the world to Christianity and the Christian way of life.

I and our Messiah Holy Baptist. Non apologetically will always be about converting the world of sinners, to Christianity and it's way of life. Not them converting and changing me, or our church. To their way of life and philosophies.

Changing the church to the world way of thinking, living, and way of life. Is why we now have the rampancy of homosexuality engulfing the nation, world, and old Christian church pulpits. Same as the women's movement. Converted the Christian church, to their way, to falsely ordain women. To be accepted of the world, not to be accepted of God.

To be or not to be-as the world or God? That truly is the question of all ages eras; not of shakespear!
Ole Joshua had it right "choose ye this day, whom you will serve". God and truth, or the world and falsehood. I & Messiah Churh chose God & truth.

Ole Christian greats Luther, Spurgeion, Moody, Wesley, Sunday, Whitfield, Rice. Shake their fists at these latter-day, worldly converted churches of worldly entertainment, man authored books, falsehoods & disgrace of demise.

A simple process! If it's numbers one is lookng for? Go worldly, but lose truth, and Godliness. Due "Narrow is THE way, that leadeth unto righteousness, and FEW (not multiples) there be that findeth it. Wide is the road that leadeth to destruction, and "MANY" there be that travel it." Shall always be so each era!

The true church, true pastors & true way of life has always been a "smallest of nil minority", of each generation. " Same true today. Due to rampancy of compromise, decadence, and wickedness, permeating itself, across the naton, world, it's institutions, infrastructures, & Christian church. Pitiful, but propheced to be so, in lasts days. And we're there!

Jesus is coming soon for His church without spot or wrinkle. Not for entertainment centers of falsehoods. Choose! I chose God & truth. I advise you do likewise!

Pastor Dr Ronnie Roy Sr
Messiah Holy Baptist,
Carolina Lakes NC

Rev Ronnie Roy Sr said...

Pastors & churches perpetually, over centuries, have always made hard choices for their eras of time. Still will and do.

2 On Front burner choices since Christ below:

1. Should pastors & churches change centuries old messages, their infallible book & what worked for centuries, since Christ. That converted sinners, saved souls, changed lives, restored the broken, healed the sick, set the bondage free, lead nations to greatness? In order to be "hip" to their current world, to draw their world, entice their world, to be accepted by their world, to look/dress/act/live like their world. In order they'd be accepted by their era's world. To not offend none nor nothing.

2. Or does a pastor/church choose to follow Jesus' direct commands? To "Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel. Teaching them to observe all things, that I have commanded you." Knowing Jesus came, lived, died,ascended. To "save souls", "change lives & the world". Not to be converted by the world, change to the world, or to be accepted by the world.

Truth: "Love not the world, nor things (their entertainment, talk, dress, look, lifestyles, music, life philosophies)in this world."

Sorrowfully, lots of traditonal churches did that. Changed first their true book, then music, then songs, then leaders, then message, then dress, then content, then doctrines; in that godless order. To worldliness, to be accepted, liked, act, look, dress, live like their world era.

In laymen terms. Those pastors & churches changed to the world. To be worldly acceptd, to attract greater numbers and dollars. And not to offend. All by way of enticing the world's flesh. Not to convert the world's souls.

Rather than doing as Jesus, the Apostles & centuries of preachers prior. Whom went into & converted the world to Christianity and the Christian way of life.

I and our Messiah Holy Baptist. Non apologetically will always be about converting the world of sinners, to Christianity and it's way of life. Not them converting and changing me, or our church. To their way of life and philosophies.

Changing the church to the world way of thinking, living, and way of life. Is why we now have the rampancy of homosexuality engulfing the nation, world, and old Christian church pulpits. Same as the women's movement. Converted the Christian church, to their way, to falsely ordain women. To be accepted of the world, not to be accepted of God.

To be or not to be-as the world or God? That truly is the question of all ages eras; not of shakespear!
Ole Joshua had it right "choose ye this day, whom you will serve". God and truth, or the world and falsehood. I & Messiah Churh chose God & truth.

Ole Christian greats Luther, Spurgeion, Moody, Wesley, Sunday, Whitfield, Rice. Shake their fists at these latter-day, worldly converted churches of worldly entertainment, man authored books, falsehoods & disgrace of demise.

A simple process! If it's numbers one is lookng for? Go worldly, but lose truth, and Godliness. Due "Narrow is THE way, that leadeth unto righteousness, and FEW (not multiples) there be that findeth it. Wide is the road that leadeth to destruction, and "MANY" there be that travel it." Shall always be so each era!

The true church, true pastors & true way of life has always been a "smallest of nil minority", of each generation. " Same true today. Due to rampancy of compromise, decadence, and wickedness, permeating itself, across the naton, world, it's institutions, infrastructures, & Christian church. Pitiful, but propheced to be so, in lasts days. And we're there!

Jesus is coming soon for His church without spot or wrinkle. Not for entertainment centers of falsehoods. Choose! I chose God & truth. I advise you do likewise!

Pastor Dr Ronnie Roy Sr
Messiah Holy Baptist,
Carolina Lakes NC