Whatever the medium, communication has always been at the heart of the Christian life. We are created to be in relationship withGod and with one another. In this way, we arecreated to communicate. We are called by God to join in telling the story and communicating Gods invitation.
One story he told wasabout planting seed. “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” - Mark 4:8 NIV
In his book, "We Must Speak", Larry Hollon tells stories - stories about howThe United Methodist Church tells stories.
Larry Hollon isan award-winningcommunicatorwith experienceinprint, broadcastand digitalmedia.
Larry has worked in more than 50 countries. Early in his career as a pastor, he hosted a radio talk show inOmaha, Neb. From there, his journey ledhim to television news, and he became a documentary producer. Travelingacross Asia, South and Central America, and Africa, he has used the lens of faith to tell the stories of people affected by poverty, war and disasters.
Most importantly, Larry is astoryteller and a child of God.Those two passions have defined his course in life.
In this book,Larry tells whatcommunications hasaccomplished forThe UnitedMethodist Churchand starts theconversation onwhat action weneed to take next.Lets start with anoverview of thebook.
In the forewordMike McCurry writes, "Larry Hollon sets out the case for why we need to maintain our voice in the turbulence of the modern era of communications."
Mike McCurry is a formerWhite House presssecretary.
In the most connected era in human history, as the tools of communication have become ubiquitous and instantaneous, one voice is missing.
As we rush headlong into the 21st century,mainline denominations are not participating in astrategic way in the ongoing public conversations that are shaping moral and ethical values.
However, The United Methodist Church hasbeen a leader in communications, projecting the Churchs voice into the culture. The stories in this book show that communications as a ministry can bring change.
The United Methodist Church has used communicationsto raise millions of dollars in response to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake.
Deaths by malaria in Africa have been cut in half,with the help of collaborative communications fromThe United Methodist Church and its partners.
"Fear is not the only force at work in the world today." In the aftermath of the shock and devastation of 9-11, it was, quite simply, a beacon. Those words delivered a message that helped to shape aglobal response in the days following that horrific event. It was communication at its most basic, providing a message of hope in a broken world.
The Rethink Church effort has resulted in 14,000 localcongregations around the world creating specific plans to engage with their communities.
RETHINKCHURCH In 2011, its Impact Community program saw more than420 churches activate nearly 25,000 people in changing their communities, serving more than 443,500 people.
An effort related to Rethink Church known as Change the World 2011 inspired more than2,000 events in 15 countries, engaging 100,000 volunteers and impacting 500,000 lives.
Local congregations and general church agencies have useda variety of media to call young adults into mission and outreach. In 2011, about 4,500 churches mobilized more than 500,000 volunteers, serving 4 million people in 16 countries.
Mainline denominations must be a voice of influenceand witness in todays society, calling people to higher ideals and expressing God’s redemptive promise of life, peace and fulfillment to a struggling world.
Communicationshas been at the heart of Christianitys growth throughout history.
Only, now there are more ways to communicate. We can use communications asa ministry, reaching people for Christ in a digital culture and wired world.
Pray that I may declare it boldy, as I must speak. Ephesians 6:20
We must not allow ourvoice to be lost in todaysflood of information anddistractions and changing climate of technology.
Communications outreach must bedone in strategic ways, geared to each audience and using the technologies available in different parts of the world.
We must raise the level and quality of Christian voice and witness intodays media landscape.
We must engage the global churchin new and relevant ways through communications.
Its shown with stories... Through communications, we can invite people into a supportive community, offer an understanding of life lived in relationship with a loving God and affirm values that rest in the teachings of Jesus. Together, through our connection, we can do this on both a local and global scale, accomplishing more than any individual or congregation can do alone.
We must empower the local churchto project its mission into the community.
What I tell you in the dark, speak in thedaylight; what is whispered in yourear, proclaim from the roofs. - Matthew 10:26-27 NIV