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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Communicating the Gospel

I have flown twice this week. I went to Boston on Tuesday and Austin on Thursday. It is hard to fly and not notice the people around you. You can’t help hearing their conversations. I was wondering if what I am hearing is normal since I don’t make it a habit of listening in on others’ communications. They just don’t seem to be acting right.
I suppose it could be compared to going to another country. I have made several trips to England and still can’t get the British sense of humor. They laugh at things I don’t understand and remain stoic when I think things are hilarious. So, maybe these conversations are only made in the airport because an airport is like another country.
There is another possibility. It could be that I am so outside the current culture that I can’t understand. Either I have finally gotten so old or I have become so isolated that I don’t get it anymore.
This certainly has to affect my own communication. After all, that is what I do for a living. I preach the gospel. This message never changes but the methods of communication constantly change. I must be able to address the culture I am in so that I can communicate. Not understanding the culture must negatively affect my communication.
I used to go to conferences which ostensibly told us what was going on in the culture. I ascertained that these conferences were more about the culture of those who were giving them than my culture. I suppose we each carry our own culture with us. I really doubt that a church would have called me to be their pastor if they thought that I couldn’t communicate. I realized that I knew more about my culture than the guys giving the conferences. I quit going to conferences. Those who continue to go to these conferences and adopt all they have learned usually have problems in their churches before long. I have yet to hear of one who went to a conference and turned everything around in his church because of that conference.
Maybe the people who go to my church are those who communicate as I do. They understand my humor, illustrations and metaphors. But they are also prompted to attend by the Holy Spirit and He straightens out my inadequate communication. Therefore, my communication is only adequate because He has made it so.
Still, I would like to understand the conversations of those around me. I would like to think that I play a part in bringing the gospel to the world. I guess I am going to have to get out more. I spend too much time in my office. I must listen more. I spend too much time talking. 
I should start now.

Romans 10:17 (My own translation)
So then faith comes from hearing and hearing from the word of Christ.

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