comm you Nick 8ing

Isn’t modern communication amazing? I have been trying to get a magic club off the ground in Colchester but have found that communicating the existence of a fledgling club like that is difficult. I don’t have the resources to take out a full-page advert in our local paper or broadcast radio adverts.

I have posted the first meeting on the local newspaper’s bulletin board and also the meeting exists on the website of the venue where we will be meeting, but I suspect that you have to stumble across these rather than have them placed in front of you. I have created a Facebook page for Colchester Magic Club and so far there is one fan: me.

Then yesterday I had a brainwave and asked John Archer, whom I follow on Twitter, to re-tweet a message about Colchester Magic Club. He very kindly did so and suddenly I had a couple of responses from local people interested in magic tricks, and even an offer of a venue for the future! I then found the re-tweet was being re-tweeted, even by Paul Daniels! With endorsements like that, who knows what will happen…

This has made me think again about communication by and in churches. The message that we want to share is far more important than the existence of the magic club and yet for the most part we are passive in the way that we share it. By that I mean that we tend to wait for people to ask us questions or turn up on our doorstep. While I have difficulties with the methods used by some street preachers, at least they are out there trying to share the good news. Unfortunately very few are as innovative and engaging as Chris Duffett.

I have recently been involved in some conversations about how we communicate internally and externally in our churches and it all still seems very conventional. I have yet to come across an example of judges or Christian agencies using modern technology in innovative ways. Our church has an excellent website (this is often the first point of contact for newcomers), we send out a lot of communication by e-mail and different groups within the church have Facebook pages.

But that seems to be the limit of it as far as using modern technology goes. I wonder what sort of communication methods Jesus would use – beyond the primary method of communicating face-to-face of course. Would he have a Twitter account (I’m not sure that’s what he would have meant by followers)? Would he be on Facebook (and exceed the permissible number of friends)? Would he be sending out text messages? Would he have a 50 inch plasma screen outside his church showing videos and information about the church? Would he have his own YouTube channel? Would he be sending out video e-mails and podcasts? Would he be blogging?

Nobody can know the answers to those questions for sure but I reckon we should try to use all possible means to get the wonderful message of Jesus to those who need to hear it.

Anyone got a loudhailer and a flannelgraph I can use?

Be blessed, be a blessing.

I was sitting at a stop light this morning. The lady in front of me was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green she did not obey its command. You know, a green light is a commandment – NOT a suggestion. When the light turned to red, and she had still not moved, I began (with my windows up) screaming epithets and beating on my steering wheel.

My expressions of distress were interrupted by a policeman, gun drawn, tapping on my window. Against my protestations of, “You can’t arrest me for hollering in my car,” he ordered me into the back seat of his.

After about two hours in a holding cell, the arresting officer advised me I was free to go. I stormed out at him, “I knew you couldn’t arrest me for yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this.”

The officer replied, “I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, “What a jerk. But there is nothing I can do to him for throwing a fit in his own car. Then I noticed the Cross hanging from your rear view mirror, the sticker from your church in the rear window, the ‘Jesus loves you’ bumper sticker, and the Fish symbol, and I thought you must have stolen the car!”

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