To be known by your friends is interesting.
I was recently interviewed by a friend, Byron, who ministers with Probe. He was writing a radio program script for Kerby Anderson on the use of MySpace and social networking sites. It’s now available online as an MP3 also.
I’m the head of Internet outreach for one of the world’s largest ministries encourages viewing MySpace as a mission field. He tells kids, “It’s where your friends and their friends are already. Jesus called us to be smart, not safe.” As Paul wrote to the Roman church, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
A mutual friend, Paul, wrote me today about Byron’s program, since we’ve both served with Byron in the past. I admitted to my friend Paul that I was the anonymous guy talking about being smart, not necessarily safe.
Paul responded, “I thought so.”
I guess I’ve said stuff like that before. At least I’m consistent enough to be recognized!
So while we’re on the topic of safe ministry, I’ll quote from Ron Hutchcraft. Sometimes we come to a place in life or in ministry where “I realized that I had gone as far as I could go . . . safely.”
Ron goes on to say [click here to read his excellent article]:
So has American Christianity.
We, as Christians, have gone as far as we can go safely. If we just keep doing what we’ve been doing, we will leave most of our generation unreached for Jesus Christ. Chuck Colson has said, “In a startlingly brief period, the West has been transformed from a Christian culture, in which the majority accepted basic Christian concepts, into a post-Christian culture.”
When we’ve gone as far as we can go safely, then it’s time to move beyond safety into risky faith.
At a missions conference last year, Kay and were speaking to teenagers. I asked “How many of you have MySpace or Facebook sites?” A few slowly raised their hands while sheepishly looking around to make sure parents weren’t watching. I asked, “How many of your parents know you have a MySpace site?” Almost all hands dropped.
I encouraged them to use their MySpace as lighthouses in the midst of loneliness and lostness. I urged them to tell their parents what they were doing. I encouraged them to pray with their parents for the mission field called MySpace. I encouraged them to join with a few other teens as lighthouse accountability partners.
I encouraged them to be smart in their MySpace outreach through accountability with peers and parents, but to move beyond safety into risky missionary outreach in the largest mission field today.
So what about you? Have you gone as far as you can go … safely? Does God have you in a place where he’s asking you to move beyond safety? Be smart, but exercise risky faith.
Paul H says
Keith: I’m working on a proposed “seminar” on social networking sites for parents at my church. I told the youth director I’d like to help our youth group kids see MySpace etc as a mission field.
Great! I look forward to seeing what develops. May your tribe increase!
Grider Thrasher says
Just published a book called “Risky Faith”. It’s about a reality relationship with God, available now at Amazon.com/books. Check it out and let me know what you think.