Summary: This sermon is about reaching and making disciples in a technology savy world
Have you seen the e-mail entitled “What if we treated out Bible like our cell phone?” (author unknown)
“I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?
What if we carried it around In our purses or pockets?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?”
What if Teachers caught kids using it at school (mine added)
“What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make you go .... hmm ... where is my Bible? Oh, and one more’ thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. (And) And no dropped calls!”
I really do want to ask how we share the gospel; the Good News in this modern day? How do we reach the lost and make disciples in this present time? In the olden days (when I was a boy) I look back and know I was surrounded by the Gospel message. I got it from my parents and grandparents. From my Preacher (who was my father); from my Sunday School teachers; from people in my community and even from Teachers at School who told of the gospel story in some way or another. But now our world seems so different, and I wonder how we can share the gospel with this new world?
With the internet new words have emerged: We no longer just call it mail, but now (I let my congregation answer these, if they know them) ______ (E-mail). And with the invention of e-mail, other new words have developed – No longer revenge, but when you get someone back over the internet it is called ________ (E-venge). The Urban Dictionary defines evenge as “(n.) A violation of [netiquette]…” Did you get that? Not etiquette but netiquette! No longer just flirtation, but if you do it over the internet it is called e-flirtation.
Again the Urban Dictionary gives it a definition and even uses it in a sentence: “To flirt electronically, via virtual communications such as text or internet. “She blushed imperceptibly when she realized that he had crossed the threshold into eflirtation.”
So the question I want to ask, is how to we make disciples and share the gospel in an e-Gospel world? In other words, an internet and technology savvy world? How do we share the good news with people who now communicate in different ways? I thought I was being original with my "eGospel idea, and then of course I Googled it and found things like "egospel.com and igospel"! So much for my original thoughts!
When a mother tells me of taking her daughter, and her daughters friend to San Antonio, with the daughter in the front seat and the friend in the back seat, and not a word was spoken the entire trip, but the two girls were texting back and fourth the entire time.
Now here is my answer… We have to use every means available to us to share and spread the Gospel:
TEXTING: What if you shared the Gospel with someone through a text? Now I’ll tell you the truth, I thought I had come up with this original idea, and I was searching for some kind of word to go with texting, sort of like “evangexting” Which really didn’t work. And so in my original idea I Googled the words evangelism and texting and I found 42,000 hits. Things like “Texting for God” and “The Lord is my textmate” ( http://www.socialscience.t-mobile.hu/dok/8_Ellwood.pdf )
I know, I know, some of you are thinking, "No, the Lord is my Shepherd"... but in this day and age when people text back and fourth can you think of someone better than to be communicating for God? So maybe the Lord should be our "textmate"!
At an evangelism conference leaders declared “Evangelists and youth outreach leaders, panelists agreed, have to start texting with cell phones and participate in the technology that the younger generation is so heavily reliant upon.
“They don’t expect us to live there,” said Mark Fey, director of Christian Worldview and The Truth Project for Focus on the Family, “but they expect us to show up there.” http://www.christianpost.com/Missions/Evangelism/2008/10/evangelism-leaders-give-tips-to-reach-millennials-14/index.html )
So much for my creative idea… Okay well I have another one. (This could backfire) Pull out your cell phones, and get ready to text. (I actually just did this with one person, but feel brave if you can) I want you to text one person in your address book whom you know today needs encouragement; a youth; someone needing the good news and simply put J.L.U. (I goggled it and I think no one else is using it but Justice Leauge). And when they ask you what it means, you say “Jesus Loves You”!