The gospel is to be communicated. This is evangelism. By what means should this communication happen? I get the feeling from the Apostle Paul that it’s “by all means” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Paul preached and spoke as he traveled the Roman roads from city to city. He wrote and utilized the volunteer help of messengers to spread his ideas. He hit the synagogues, the marketplaces and even the prisons to share the gospel. Yet the tools at Paul’s disposal were quite limited compared to our arsenal today.
By enlarging your congregation’s collection of tools, you can stretch the value of your communications strategy and talk to new audiences in new places via new mediums never possible in the early apostolic era. Consider this:
- The pastor’s message can be re-distributed by media through the mail.
- It can be printed in periodicals and publications.
- It can be offered in a media player on a website.
- It can become part of a podcast, updating weekly with very little effort or financial cost.
- Pieces of that message can become blog posts when re-worked for an online reading audience.
- More pieces can be sent out as a daily devotional email.
- Nuggets from that message can be tweeted and retweeted, or shared on Facebook.
- Discussion arising from all of these distributions can create opportunities to converse with people previously out of reach.
- Those conversations can become the beginnings of new content as the message takes on a life of its own by its listening audience.
- A short clip from the message (if recorded on video) can land on YouTube.
- Church members can share the clip on their Facebook wall.
- The slideshow from the message can be shared online.
- The slideshow, transcript, and audio and/or video can be packaged together and distributed by download, CD or even custom-imprinted thumb drives for other churches to benefit from.
Should we be creating new messages? Absolutely. But we can also take what God has given already and put it to its fullest possible use, spreading it around in the cloud of content we’re all breathing and then fielding the questions that arise.
The mission has never changed: Get the gospel to the world. But the tools have multiplied many times over, allowing us to do it more efficiently than ever before. Which means we can spend less time fighting to create more content at all costs and spend more time simplifying our message and distributing it effectively.