As we are fast approaching the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October 2017, it is time for us to look at where we are as a Church today. To many theologians, we are in the midst of a media reformation as the Church uses all sorts of new technology to spread the message of the Gospel far and wide in the same vein as Martin Luther and his use of the printing press to get his writings out to the masses.
Billy Graham once said, “It is time for the church to use technology to make a statement that in the midst of chaos, emptiness, and despair, there is hope in the person of Jesus Christ” (Christianity Today, October 2016, 42). It is, in fact, hard to be heard in the clutter of messages being spewed out in social media channels, but it is our task to make the effort and be the voice of promise to a people searching for true meaning in life.
Thus we are, Christianity Today tells us, an analog church. No longer can we rely on paper newsletters, bulletins, magazines and the like to get the salvation story out to people. We as a Church must, dare we say, reform our ways of reaching out.
The message is still the same, of course, as it was in Martin Luther’s day, but we need to deliver that message through media that is fast-changing and developing, but pervasive.
We as a church need to be where people getting their information, and as we all know, people’s first source of information is their smartphone. Every time I go to the doctor’s office, I notice that the first thing that people do when they sit down in the waiting room is get out their phones and start browsing.
That is where the Church needs to be with its message of hope in Jesus.
Many apps and websites already exist with daily devotions and Scripture for the day, but the Good News of Jesus is not as pervasive as it could be online.
That is why we as a Church need to focus our attention on what we can do in the mission field of the internet. We can no longer ignore it; we need to use it. Think of it as our new tool. The internet is our modern-day printing press and we are the Martin Luthers of our day,