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Communication

September 16, 2008

How well does the church communicate with the world around it? Do we have realistic expectations when it comes to dialogue? Are we as believers more likely to defer to the world when communicating or do we expect the world to defer to us?

Which do you think is correct? Better? More productive? What do you think, does the church communicate well with the world?

I would love to begin a dialogue the next few days on this topic as iron sharpens iron.

Thanks.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2008 4:23 pm

    Good questions here.

    I think it depends on the church.

    Some churches still fear the world and hide from them behind church walls.

    Some churches make honest efforts to communicate but often there is a communication gap. Words we are comfortable with like “repentence”, “redemption”, etc. simply have lost meaning in our current culture.

    The churches that are more effectively communication with the world are those who are out in the world- ministering where folks are and speaking their language in sharing God’s message. These are the same churches making huge differences and the same churches that are growing.

  2. September 17, 2008 12:15 am

    If we are talking church universal I think we are doing our best to stay in the middle. We want to be “relevant” yet not swayed out of biblical principals. We want culture to listen but we want them to understand through our relevancy. This is a constantly struggle.

  3. September 17, 2008 2:58 pm

    Thanks guys. I think I want to flesh this out a little more. Danny, great insight.

    What I am wondering about is in an effort to communicate in a language that can be understood do we send the unintended message that it isn’t as important or less demanding? Since people expect those words do they misunderstand when we don’t use them.

    I am going to post further on these thoughts. Thanks again.

  4. October 4, 2008 5:58 pm

    Darin, sorry for the delay in getting here…moving and unpacking has taken much longer than I had expected.

    Communication is one of those issues that really has the church divided in my opinion. Some churches, especially missional/emergent churches, tend to take the approach that they want kind of an underground or organic movement so they don’t really do outreach. Other churches, such as the megachurch or seeker-sensitive church tend to do a lot of outreach. However, this outreach generally seems to be along the lines of asking congregants to invite friends and co-workers to church. When a church is insterested in putting bodies into the seats it tends to lean toward consumerism. The heart behind the action would be to reach people for Christ, but the means of communication are rooted in consumerism.

    Personally, I believe the church is failing miserably at communication with the world. I also believe we are in a post-Christian era which is confusing to many. There are more visual cues of faith on tv and in the movies, but in actuality the conversations are more about God and spirituality than on Jesus and his saving grace.

    I’m not trying to be negative here and I know that some churches are doing amazing work in reaching people in their communities and pursuing the disciple-making process. However, I think this is a time of shifting away from self and attracting the masses to speaking to people in such a way that they are moved to act in a Jesus-like manner. In the end, communicating with the world really isn’t about how well we engage media or dumb-down the churchy language. Instead, it is about how we act and how we exercise our faith. As the scripture says, we will be known by our love for one another (John 13:35).

    Thanks for initiating the discussion!

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