11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
I have been in thought and discussion about the Church and its relationship with social media such as Twitter and Facebook. This is a branch of the discussion of how the Church should use communication technology in general.
A couple of observations. We have the Gospel, the Good News (the root meaning of the word gospel). News is meant to be communicated. In addition, Jesus has specifically commissioned the Church to make disciples, which has at its core communication.
From this, I conclude that there is no question as to whether we are to communicate. Secondly, there is no question as what we should communicate; we are to communicated the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The only remaining question is to how this should be done. What tools should be used to communicate and make disciples. I suspect that the correct answer is – all of them.
My concern has been, how will the Gospel fare in the midst of the torrent of stuff that comes at the average consumer of media, be it Facebook, Twitter, talk radio or cable news? Marketers, celebrities, sports teams, social media experts and friends all clamor for time and attention. How do we get the Good News heard in the midst of the din? Admittedly, some of the “din” is entertaining and/or compelling.
In praying about this, I was reminded of the phrase “still, small voice” from the story of Elijah following his encounter with the prophets of Baal. I like the ESV translation even better (quoted above) where it renders it “low whisper.”
God is not a bully who badgers people into submission to his will. He is a gentleman who patiently woos the object of his love. He speaks in a gentle and quiet whisper, drawing people to himself.
How do I apply this to 21st Century communication? I conclude that while we should not be boring or insipid in our presentation of the Gospel, we should not be overly concerned about making it trendy or flashy. In other words, the focus should be on the message and conveying that message as authentically and clearly as we can. If we do, I believe that God will use that quiet whisper in a Tweet or status update for His glory, in his time.
We don’t need to shout.