Just Thinking – by Pastor Fred Garnes
If you are like the men of Issachar who had an understanding of the times [1 chronicles 12:32] you see many significant events happening in close proximity. A new Pope, Passover, Resurrection Sunday, and The Bible, the epic mini -series aired on television’s History Channel in the same month. The timing of this five week showing is intentional and is designed to climax on Resurrection Sunday. This epic mini-series has captured a viewing audience that exceeds 14.8 million. Imagine 14.8 million attentively reading their Bibles or sitting in church pews and allowing the Holy Spirit to move their hearts through preaching of God’s Word.
These events set the stage for conversation and open discussion in the “market place of ideas”. The advertisers know this and are looking at this huge base of viewers as marketing targets. They also know that a percentage of viewers will see, want, and buy their offerings. This is every marketer’s dream; a word of mouth recommendation from satisfied customers to friends and family. Apple sells most of its product suite this way. I Pod owners talk to I Phone users, they talk to Apple computer uses. Think of the ripple effect. The buyers’ self talk says to them that they made a good decision; this monologue prompts these buyers to discuss what and why they bought it with one another. As a result there are numerous commercials supporting this event with their advertising budgets. This shows us that regardless of the content business will support what brings people to a common point of attention.
This is ripple effect reminds one of the 1st century church’s explosion and growth both qualitatively and quantitatively described in ancient book titled “The Acts of the Apostles. The visual presentation in this series is captivating enough to use in an individual or community outreach effort. Stories are captivating because the viewer, listener or reader can insert themselves into the story. The story line is God’s story line and is pieced together in an engaging way. The selected portions are vivid enough to draw the viewer in and ponder how he or she would respond if they were that character or in that situation. To support creative engagement , “The Bible” series is delivered in five major chunks on five DVD’s and supported with its own product suite: The Bible 30 day Experience Guidebook, 30 Day Experience Church Kit Experience CDVD Study and other formats.
What if churches attempted to do the same thing businesses do, and use this epic mini- series as a tool to attract an un-churched audience into safe conversations that can create friendships. The term “un-churched ” refers to people or families who have not attempted to cross the threshold of a churches’ door for at least five years.
Some of the reasons given for their absence range from chronic “church hurt” to acute “not relevant” to life today. The story line in “The Bible” introduces God and His ways visually and engagingly to people who view of God as distant and far removed from the daily affairs of men and women. This forum safely allows us to ask others the hard questions about what they saw. The opportunities for healthy objective conversations are unlimited. Add social media to the mix and there is limitless opportunity with God’s empowerment to tell the Greatest Story ever told in a fresh and winsome manner with life changing results for the hearer.
Pastor Fred Garnes