Why Christians Have to Engage with Trends

Why Christians Have to Engage with Trends | Lemon and the Sea: Churches and christian organizations have to stop living in the past and start getting online. If the people you want to reach are doing something, you have to meet them where they are.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
— John 15:19
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
— Romans 12:2
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
— 1 John 2:15

You may have read these verses or heard them taught in church. It's pretty clear what they're telling us: once we come to know Christ, we are no longer a part of the world, so we have to focus on God instead and turn away from the things of the world.

It's repeated over and over in the Bible: God tells His people to wipe out everything of the previous people - including women, children, and livestock - and start fresh. He does this because He knows that we are tempted by the things of this world and that if we surround ourselves with temptation, we will sin.

However, in the New Testament, God never told us to isolate ourselves from the world. In fact, Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors, saying that He came to save the sinners, not the righteous (Luke 5:31-32). We can't use His words about not being of the world to justify separating ourselves from it completely.

As Christians, we are called to reach the lost.

As Christian business owners or church leaders, we reach the lost by meeting them where they are and using our business (or church) to show them the love of God.

For too long, Christians, especially churches, have tried to stay above worldly things, thinking that people will come to them when they are ready. And that can happen, but most often, people don't come on their own. They have to be interested in something.

Sure, you can go on mission trips or do weekend outreach programs, but until you're showing the love of God in your daily life, you aren't fulfilling God's commandment to you.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
— Matthew 28:19-20

We're called to reach all nations - not just the foreign ones. People right where you are need God as much as those overseas.

This is why we have to stop ignoring what's going on in the world and start engaging with it. And I don't mean news items here - that is a totally different topic of discussion - but trends and popular media.

We have to go where the people are.

It's becoming abundantly clear that the newest generation to reach adulthood is pulling away from the church and God more than any before it. And the next generation will be raised without God as a part of their lives. We have to reach these people - the young people who grew up in the age of the internet and cell phones - if we are going to continue to see growth in the Kingdom of God.

Why is it that we so quickly shy away from engaging with social media? There is nothing inherently evil in these platforms. And why do we resist putting together an engaging website or even creating one at all?

If the people you're trying to reach are on Twitter, JOIN TWITTER.

We have to stop believing that this generation is going to find God and instead go out and meet them where they are. And they are on the internet. They don't ask friends for restaurant recommendations, they ask Google. They don't make phone calls, they text and tweet. They don't go to a business and drop off a resume, they send it in through a job site. And they don't dig past the boring website home page you've put up to find out details, they find something else to grab their attention.

It's no longer enough to have a mediocre site online and expect that the internet generation will show up at your door. It won't work, I promise. If a site isn't visually appealing and easy to navigate, no one will spend the time to look at it.

The generation we're trying to reach is online: on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Instagram, and more platforms that are coming out everyday. We have to keep up. We have to know where they are and what they're doing and we have to be there too. We have to be on Twitter, engaging in chats and replying to questions. We have to be on Facebook, posting about events. We have to be on Instagram, sharing pictures of the awesome things that are happening.

We don't have to let these platforms rule us. We don't have to use them the same way that teens are. But we do have to be there so that when they're looking for answers, we're there to provide them.

You can have all the awesome programs in the world, but if people don't know, it doesn't matter.

It's time to get with it. We have to meet the people where they are. After all, that's what Jesus did.

Interested in working with me to get your website looking great? Want help using social media to engage with people? Join my group of awesome people who are living intentionally and making great things happen. And check back for products and services that will help you reach those you want to help.

Need something sooner? Ready to make a change and get things up and running now? Contact me and we'll create a strategy that will help you get where you need to be.