It’s the Medium, Dummy by Steve Sjogren

All communication boils down to two simple things: The message and the medium.

One president in our generation won his election in a come from behind victory as his election manager wrote on the central white board, “It’s the economy dummy!” With that focus in mind, the campaign supposedly hammered on that single message for the remainder of the campaign and squeaked by with a victory. We too have a single word that is in need of clarification – Medium. That is, we understand the good news of Jesus. Face it, if my friend Dr. David Wheeler’s six year old daughter can lead ten kids in her neighborhood near the campus of Liberty University where he teaches, your people can share this message with clarity (she has been busy since August! – her approach – popsicles of kindness to open the door of relationship, then it’s only a matter of time…)

Live In The Flow

As someone who has had a huge value for being an inviter of not-yet believers into the kingdom – and seeking to show others how to live that way as well I now realize I modeled Part A and missed the far more important issue, Part B. That is, the message is simple stuff. By and large, nearly all reading this would agree on the content of the simple gospel, the good news of Jesus is.

If you weren’t aware of it, stats have held steady for several decades now, that even among the most “evangelistic” congregations in the U.S., only about 3% in such churches will even one time in their lifetimes share the gospel with someone outside of their immediate family. Put it another way. If you have a church that runs consistently 100 on the weekend, chances are, only 3 people in your congregation will in their entire lifetime explain the gospel to one more people.

Four words come to my mind each time I read that stat: That makes Jesus cry. The close of Matthew 28 makes it clear that God’s family can’t be large enough to satisfy his aching heart for those he is longing to see join his family.

This begs the question – “Why is this so?” And, “Why is this not the case in the Church of the three-quarter’s world?” (Indeed the stats there are dramatically different.) This matter is one that could fill a book easily, but let me touch on one simple issue here.

Turn On The “Screen” Once Again

At one time all of us noticed others far more than we do now – at least in most of our cases. The busier we become, the less we notice others. The less we notice others, the more calloused we become. Calloused people are the opposite of the ones who live like Jesus. It is a simple progression.

Call it the “Noticing Screen” or the “Inner Radar” or whatever you wish. Until we slow it down a bit, until we begin to pray the “Jesus, I’m willing to be interrupted by your invitations” prayers, there is little chance we will see our lives be used by Jesus as a pipeline to hold the hands of others as they come into his family.

This is not a program. We aren’t “on” at times and “off” at times. We live invitationally 168 hours a week.

You live that way first. You will discover this life is amazingly energizing no matter what you may be thinking at this moment. Do this for six months and see what happens in your church. No doubt there will be a polarizing effect as you tell your stories – the good ones, the funny ones, the ones when you fall on your face, but since when didn’t the kingdom polarize?

Heading toward retiring? Forget it. It’s time to refire!

Go with those who are willing. Hug the rest and pray they get it.