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Thursday, January 2, 2014
Yes, I think every Christ-follower should read the Bible everyday and also their newspaper. Now before you tell me all the reasons why you don't agree with the latter part of the opening sentence let me tell you why I firmly believe this.
In my year end evaluations of my staff I asked them if they read the newspaper regularly. I think it is impossible to reach our community without knowing it. If we want to be churches that are making a difference in our community then it is imperative to know the daily needs of our people.
The Newspaper allows me to take the truths of the Bible and bridge them to the people of my community. It informs me when a business closes. It allows me to grieve when others are grieving. It prepares me for the upcoming changes. It helps me to see the world-view of my leaders. It allows me to celebrate the victories of the local sport teams. It surfaces the needs of the people I am trying to reach. It gives me an opportunity to pray through the pages of the paper. It is an endless cycle of information about my culture I am trying to love, support, and reach for Jesus.
Karl Barth said "Life should be lived with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other."
I want to be a church that is the flesh and blood of Jesus to its community. I have said this on many occasions, "if a fleet of ryder trucks came and packed up our church and its possessions on a Monday and by the end of the week no one knew we were gone then we were not making a difference in our community!"
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been prompted by the Spirit to pray, reach out to, make a vision decision, encourage someone as a result of reading the Newspaper.
Besides the Bible says that Jesus became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood so that he could reach them.
In addition to that, it is just fun walking up to a 12 year old and say "hey great game last night, I saw where your team won and you scored the winning run."
The best way to reach your community is to know your community!