Renewing; Reviewing; Reviving
Revangelism and a new set of eyes
The tone is the question of refocusing on what the mission of Focus on the Family is and what it will become. In the latest business and ministry books and media it is apparent what is and what isn’t the next wave of breakthrough management and innovation that evangelicals are called to. For decades we have worked on imitating the world and being part of the culture through bringing up Christian celebrity that has fallen short of a world class standard. Why? Mainly it is due to things that have been beyond anyone’s control and the bottom line is that we have refused to pave a better way and in fact we have accepted less of ourselves by relying on our own cleverness and our own self-fulfilling prophecy, when we have the greatest story ever told and squander it with pettiness and little ideas, when we have the truth at our fingertips. It’s the “re” before the verb that gives the truth a new casing and package that sees the world through His eyes; mindset and worldview. “Don’t argue with fools” the proverb says, and Jesus himself says, “Wipe your feet on the mat of the homes that do not welcome the good news and reject the truth.” This is especially sad when it is family but Jesus knew this all too well, for he himself was rejected by his earthly family.
Renew the Biblical
From a media standpoint we must move ahead and past the political climate that we are in. Whoever is President we will have to be ready on the first Wednesday of November no matter what happens on election Tuesday. Yes it matters what lies ahead of us, but it doesn’t change the way Evangelicals engage the communities they serve. The homeless, the disabled, the outcasts and the hungry will still be homeless; disabled; outcast and hungry no matter what the social, economic, and foreign policy look like whether or not we continue the path we are on, or there will be a change. It doesn’t matter. Evangelicals will still be working on Great Commission values and go where they are needed. Delivering a real message of hope and life-giving truth that transcends anyone’s political aspiration is the Biblical mandate that stretches across party lines.
Review the System
Our lives and the way we live them are also a way that we review the systematic theology that looks to what God wants from us. Do we represent His motive well? Do we approach people as Jesus did? Do we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit? Or is there some other agenda we favor? If we are not studying the Word of God and doing what it says; if we refuse to approach people in relationships and reaching out in love; and if we don’t rely on the power of the Holy Spirit who guides us through we are only “clanging gongs” as Paul writes.
Revive the mission
No matter who is president for the next four years God is still on His throne and in control of whatever happens. We still need to introduce him to people. We still need to sing His song in the way we approach His message, music and mission, and we still need to call out to people His sacrifice and resurrection for a confused and lost world that will need Him more than ever-no matter who is the leader of our nation. Evangelism is more than a word; it embodies the truth that is a cornerstone meant for all people.
Hope and change
The idea is that you can’t get to change in one step; you have to be willing to accept correction. If you continue to blame everyone else and don’t take responsibility, then you have increased the problems economically; environmentally, in the favor of all nations and in foreign policy; and in the way you handle the poor, the jobless; and the least of these including the unborn, the disabled and the homeless. If you skip correction then you can never get to rising to the many challenges we face and that is something that needs constant communication if you really want to move “forward” and forward meaning past a campaign slogan. Finally in a generous and optimistic state we would arrive at what many might call change. People compelled to change with a baseline of Biblical truth; an index of systematic theology and worldview; and finally the outreach that cares so much about people’s state of salvation that would compel them to follow Christ relationally to “loving God with all their heart soul and mind and neighbor as we love ourselves.” If we do those two things all legalism; all decency and care and commandments would fall into place. The idea of asking the right questions will affect your bottom line; return on investment and who you reach and how you reach them. Exhale and no matter what happens, connect the dots of morality and value with the economic and social while remaining and renewing the Biblical, reviewing the systematic and reviving evangelism in the people in your community and mission field.
When the President of Focus on the Family can write a book called “Refocus” Jim Daly is speaking of these very things. Empathy and engagement; discussion and common sense come into play and a continuing attitude to standing strong and being creative in how we act in being good stewards in our work, at home, and in our communities is being the same person in all we do, which is what the definition of integrity is all about. Our public and private policies must reflect who we are in all three arenas. But we must reflect Christ’s love in all we do and who we are to be effective. It is a tricky thing when you are dealing with a partner or an alliance. In media we feel this pinch to provide creative content; invest in the best production and then pay as much as we do for promotion and distribution for top markets without a clear understanding of reach; donations; and lives changed. So what is the breakthrough question? It may be as simple as saying and measuring those three things. Can we show an increase in audience; donations and lives changed in the Beltway and beyond? And is there another way of realizing a return on our investment that meets your needs, our needs and the listeners? I think there is and I look forward to the correction; the challenge, and the change that we can look back and point to on our timelines while looking at what God has done in using Focus on the family and WAVA.