No phone. No text. No Instagram. No Facebook. No Snapchat. No problem.
Believe it or not, for most of human existence, we had to communicate the old-fashioned way— by word of mouth, person-to-person. That immediately accosts our technological sensibilities! It’s inefficient! How can we reach the masses without the marketing wonders of big data and Google analytics?
As efficient as it might be to power-blast our messages through cyber-static and bounce them packet by packet off cold and silent satellites posted on the edge of space, maybe we lose something in the personal interactions we are losing. Maybe reducing communication to coded content has caused us to forget that human communication is fundamentally relational!
Disagree? What about the non-verbal eye-rolls of a spouse or teen that clearly communicates, “I hear you but I disagree!”? What about the silent, but tender touch of one person to another when emotional pain is so high that words themselves cannot reach hearts?
We should not suppose that technological and marketing restrictions forced Jesus to send His disciples out two by two with the most important message in history— “The kingdom of God has come near to you” (Luke 10:9). The internet remained 2,000 years in the future, but bringing the kingdom message two-by-two throughout Israel highlights the authenticity, urgency, and relational necessity of speaking heart to heart, not simply mind to mind.
At the center of the Kingdom of God is the King— Jesus. Entrance into the Kingdom of God does not come by mental assent alone, but by a willful decision to follow the King and then live for that King.
Technology affords us the possibility of blasting the gospel message to the masses, but disciples are nonetheless formed and fashioned one at a time, interconnected to other disciples, as the church builds itself up in love as each person contributes to the whole.
Sometimes we share our faith one by one, and sometimes we use means to communicate with crowds. But there are certain advantages in going with a partner. One can pray while the other shares. Partners might bring insight and spiritual gifts that together are more effective than alone. Partners grow less discouraged in spiritually adverse situations. Partners together might better illustrate slivers of God’s grace through life’s splinters.
Partnering to share our faith offers relational advantages when communicating the message of the gospel that must be wrapped in relationship.
Authored by Dr. David F. Ingrassia, Sewarding Pastor of Charlotte Awake