I saw this tweet and took a screenshot right away.
A couple of things struck me:
- How unnatural and clunky the phrasing is…but that’s the curse of being an editor.
- Are people outside of Christianity actually looking in and wondering what it’s all about?
When I first started following Jesus in high school, Christian books taught me that I needed to “be Jesus” to the people around me. They told me that if I reflected Christ well enough, people I interacted with would sense something different about me and wonder what it was–they’d then investigate what that uniqueness was about me and they’d discover Jesus. I do think that can be true…but I’ve learned over the years that human people are really terrible examples of Christ. Even those following Jesus so intently, so closely, can say something hurtful or ignorant and smear the name of Christ in the public eye.
I haven’t personally met anyone who is legitimately seeking Christ or investigating Christianity since I was in college. And I went to a Bible college. So if anyone was looking into Christianity, it was doubting and questioning what they’d always believed to be true, and finding deeper faith through that…or losing faith altogether. I’ve worked with plenty of people who aren’t Christians and none of them were looking for anything within Christianity–they already knew what they’d find there. And when I’ve had conversations with people who have questions about Christianity, it’s rarely about the details of the Resurrection or why Communion is important–it’s about things they’ve seen Christians do and things they’ve heard Christians say. That’s what they want explanations for.
Since I was in college (from 2003-2007), the internet and social media have exploded. Journalism/media report 24-hours-a-day. There’s an incredible amount of language being thrown at people, an incredible amount of information, and in my opinion–less than half of it is entirely correct or true. But most people believe everything they read. And more today than ever before, Christians are written off as ignorant, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-women, anti, anti anti. I believe it’s a widespread understanding that the book on Christians has been written and it has been closed. The bummer is that few people write about the fact that Christians aren’t Christianity. Christ is Christianity.
I’m someone who prides themselves on keeping a finger on the pulse of culture and society at all times, someone whose StrengthsFinder strengths are Connectedness, Strategy, Context, Belief, Ideation and Communication (which feels a bit like a curse sometimes, honestly). And what I’m feeling is happening is that people think they know Christianity and have written it off. Very few people are actually looking in. Very few are wondering what it’s all about. Because of the unprecedented amount of information (correct and incorrect) available–people think they already know what it’s all about. Their minds are made up. It’s my opinion that “seeker” is a dead term. Seekers go online, read a a few of the billions of articles available to them, and make up their minds. Seekers don’t have to try churches on to decide how they feel about Christianity. They make their decision behind a computer or TV screen based on what information lands in their laps.
Now, this doesn’t mean people can’t change their minds. Jesus still saves people, he still reaches people, with very little effort from us humans pointing people toward him. We see it all the time at Eagle Brook. This just means that my job, as a communicator at a church, is that much more difficult. We have to think about how to cut through the chatter, how to wake people up to Truth, how to negate the untruths. We have to overthink language and messaging. We have to find creative ways to get people’s attention who probably aren’t looking at Christianity because they’ve made their minds up–but they still need Hope and don’t realize it’s right here.
It’s right here.
I want to put it on a billboard, stand next to it with a megaphone, and screech it out to the masses. But I won’t. Because we all know how unhelpful that is. 🙂 I’ll keep on keeping on. I’ll pray for the growth of His Kingdom and for Truth to permeate untruths, for Love to overshadow the actions of imperfect people. For the name of Jesus to become famous, not infamous. I believe He will do it and I pray he’ll use me.