This post was originally written for and posted on YouthMinistry.com by me. Thanks to the guys over there who let me write there as well. Here is the post.
We now live in a culture that reads, responds, and reacts in 140 characters or less. I’m not trying to make the point that as pastors we should or should not be on Twitter, or that teens use Twitter at all. The point is that we now share information with family, friends, and fake friends faster than we have ever done before. This information mostly is shared via text message. According to Sprint and other reports, mobile phones are used for talking less than 50% of the time. So if people aren’t talking on the phone, what are they doing? They’re sharing, liking, tweeting, texting, searching, and updating. They are doing this all the time.
Why in the world then don’t we try to leverage this power that people already know how to do to spread the gospel? Why are we so opposed to asking people to spread the message of hope, love, forgiveness, and salvation in the means that they are already doing? Furthermore, why are we not giving them ideas and content that would fit in 140 characters or less so that it would be the easiest to share?
This is not an article that is saying that I think we should keep our heads buried in our phone. This isn’t an article saying we shouldn’t have time where we’re still and reflective on what God is doing. This isn’t an article that thinks if we all used iPhones that our world would be a better place.
This is an article about content and what we want people to leave with and do. Let’s just take a possible subject for example. Let’s say you taught principles behind effective prayer. Each principle comes from the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6. This would be a great topic and one that needs to be taught, but what would you have people share from this? The principles that you are teaching, are you stating them in a way that phrased in a way to be shared? The takeaway and application, are they communicated in a way that your audience would be compelled to send to someone else? Why not? Why are we not even taking this into consideration?
Here’s what I believe:
- Breaking down ideas that are complicated to principles that are easy to understand is much harder than keeping things complicated.
- Understanding a topic is one thing, telling people to do something with what they understand is much harder.
- People only do hard things when they are a priority and processed over time.
So the next time you teach, preach, lead a small group, or share the gospel in any form, make it “textable.” Ask yourself when preparing the message or lesson, what in here is “textable” and what do I want them to share?
By the way, if you were going to share this article or principle, you might say, “I’m being challenged to teach in “textable” ways. If you want to know what that means just ask.”