the new rules of engagement

As global fluency and power of the Internet spread like wildfire, publishing, broadcasting, music, and print industries, among others, are hanging on to their parcels of economic land for dear life; some are vanishing forever along the way. Media companies are investing unprecedented dollars in social networking education, riding the learning curve, and hustling to redefine themselves or face extinction.

The goal among communicators today is to get their message to the world before faster, savvier, smarter, louder people marginalize them—for good.

It stands to reason that Christ followers (and the church) should respond accordingly as the rules of engagement continue to change.

Businesses are reluctantly undergoing a daily communication boot camp. And only those who work at online engagement consistently, strategically, and seriously will emerge able to compete. They’ll be the ones who lay claim to the mindshare of others. They’ll be the ones whose message survives.

This communication shift applies as much to you as a Christ follower as it does to the banker, the Realtor, or the politician. It’s been called the new normal. If you have a message you consider relevant, it is imperative (not suggested) that you use online channels to communicate.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
And the Word was God.”
John 1:1, NIV

Your best content will come straight from God’s Word, living your life authentically in front of others, and giving God the glory in every step. That’s how your story becomes sticky and remains with those who hear it.

As a Christ follower do you see this shift affecting the church? Share any significant changes you’ve seen.

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  • http://twitter.com/RachelHauck RachelHauck

    Great question. Social media, being a believer online is really challenging me, and I think all believers. Can I say who I am, who He is online to a nameless, faceless crowd? What will they think of me? What will my friends and family think if they do no know Jesus? Or love Him as I do?

    What about potential readers? Will they think I’m too much of a Jesus freak?

    We had a young man at our church who publicly supported a political but very moral issue that is contrary to Biblical teaching. In private, when confronted, he agreed with the Word and our churches stand on the issue.

    But in public, he refused to say the truth. Even when directly confronted. He thought he was doing the God and the church a favor. Not putting people off, keeping doors open.

    He engaged in public debates on his FB with brothers in the Lord. All very unwise to take the fight to the street. IMHO.

    But it really stood out to me that in the heart of this young man was his embarrassment of his faith, of his Lord. He knows the truth. He loves Jesus deep down. But he’s not going to be uncool and say it to the cyber world.

    So, I had to examine myself. Am I going to be bold. Can I love Jesus in a way that is light and love, not confrontational. Cyber space isn’t the place to debate heated moral issues. Especially in 140 characters or less.

    Just keep shining the light and truth of Jesus — His love and sacrifice — and let Him do the rest. He can take care of Himself. :)

  • Tami Heim

    I think people are struggling not only with faith online – but it all the other areas of their life. There’s a lot of pressure to ‘turn the light off’ if we think it might be brighter than others care to see. We are charged to be constant in and out of season. The fear of being bold and rejected can be paralyzing. (Clearly one of the enemy’s biggest weapons and why the Bible spends so much time discussing it!) Being accepted for most is an overwhelming need.

    We need prayer, Divine help, and wisdom. A lot of all of it. We must look in the mirror and check the motives of our hearts. Who are really serving with what we do and why?

    I still believe what we do, how we act, how we love will have more impact than what we say. “They will know we are Christians by our love” – first and foremost. When people see that – the door to hearts will open. He WILL take care of the rest! Thanks for sharing Rachel. Shine on!