Sometime ago, I got a message from a friend inviting me to his home for a chat over drinks. Coincidentally, about that period I had been thinking about how difficult staying physically connected to family and friends was becoming. Gone are the days when people in the neighbourhood gather together in the evening after work to chat and laugh together. Before mobile phones came, it was not unusual to show up at the door of your friend’s house for a quick hello and get the warmest welcome possible. Weekends used to be great opportunities to bond with loved ones over meals or just under the beautiful skies. This still happens but I am sure you can testify that it is not as frequent these days as it used to be years back. Nowadays, we are caught up in so many activities, a lot of them related to chasing the loot, so that sometimes even phone calls are at a premium. Yeah, we use social media to keep in touch but it is quite on a superficial level. So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I got that message for one of such rare soirees. I saved the date everywhere possible and got to my friend’s house as scheduled. Sure enough, we had drinks and we bantered along. I also noticed that there were a couple of other people around, known to my host but not familiar to me as at that moment. Then, someone spoke about some presentation to be made on the flat screen TV in the living room which we all patiently watched and listened to. I found out that this was a presentation about a multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunity. The speaker was quite articulate and convincing and the mood had been perfectly set for the presentation. I guarantee you that enough had been done and said to make you give more than a second thought to what was being spoken about that evening.
As I drove home that night I thought about the events of the evening and the extent we could go to sell our ideas or drive a vision. I realized that I had just been at an outreach or evangelistic campaign, although not one to preach Jesus but one to preach wealth creation. I got to know that several of such meet-ups happen around and the ‘harvest’ is usually worth it. But before MLM, there was the great commission, an instruction from our Saviour shortly before He ascended to heaven, to go and make disciples in all nations. So how about having a soiree, inviting friends over, having mocktails and sharing testimonies about different salvation experiences or showing a movie like War room or The Case for Christ, for example? What about just having unchurched friends over for Suya and asking to pray for any pressing needs or healing requests.
The message of salvation has not changed and will not change but our presentation of the gospel should be relevant to the generation we connect with. The dynamics of relationships are more complex nowadays, technology is advancing at the speed of light and there are more activities competing for the 24-hour time quota we all have. Do not forget too that the devil is quite busy on his tasks, maybe busier than he has ever been. Thus our methods of reach out must be persuasive and able to get the required attention of the people we connect with. These days, a lot of time is spent online in the cyber world. Our social media platforms provide the perfect space to preach the gospel. In a way, our life stories are told on the various platforms we interact with. When people read these stories, what do they perceive? When we surf the net and cruise along the internet highway, what scent do we leave behind? Facebook, for example, would ask you, ‘What’s on your mind?’ What response do we drop before heading to the next hangout? Some people see this as an opportunity express the frustration they feel about a certain situation or vent their anger at someone. But it can also be a great platform to consistently share the good news and the impact it has made in our lives. So while we continue our traditional methods of reaching out, we must know that we have an equally powerful opportunity in the cyber space to preach the good news, either by organizing online hangouts, tweeting about God’s faithfulness or blogging about the pleasures of our walk with God. The harvest is ripe, be a willing labourer (Luke 10:2).