As an evangelist and the founder of Think Eternity, I find that a solid half of our ministry today happens online. So it’s hard for me to imagine a time when I owned neither a computer nor a phone! But it’s true. I used to brag to my friends in Bible college that I didn’t need a cell phone. Even though they were becoming more common at that time, I was determined to curb their influence in my life.
Years later I learned that my ancestors on my dad’s side were German Mennonites who immigrated to the United States and found the flat plains of Kansas and southern Minnesota to be much like their former home. Mennonites traditionally regard technology with more suspicion than most people, so maybe my bragging about not having a phone was an unconscious echo of my ancestors’ beliefs!
So perhaps I have deeply rooted reasons for being slow to get on social media. My older brother even forced me onto one of the early platforms by signing me up himself, but as I began to blog, my mind slowly changed. I realized I could use social media on my phone and computer for ministry. In many ways, the digital world is our new missions frontier.
I now spend a lot of my life online, as do most of us. In fact, it’s an incredible time to be a Christian because a Wi-Fi connection has given us a larger megaphone than ever before to talk about Jesus.
On one of our ministry trips to the East Coast years ago, I had a powerful encounter that taught me a lesson about the opportunity and responsibility we have with our online megaphones.
A warm blast of late spring air greeted us as we drove to our host’s home in northern Virginia. My wife, Michelle, and I, along with another couple, had been on a preaching tour across the Midwest and down the East Coast for nearly two months. On the last leg of our journey, we anticipated ministering to some great churches on the outskirts of our nation’s capital. As we stepped into our hosts’ home we were greeted by pictures on the walls of our host with various US presidents and other world leaders. The hallway was lined with thank-you cards and personal greetings from presidents and celebrities.
Our stay had been God-ordained, a needed pit stop after months of travel, and we developed a meaningful, timely friendship with Doug, our host, who is also one of the best writers I know. We spent several weeks with Doug and his wife, and they would make us a big breakfast every morning and shower us with kindness and encouragement. At the time, I’d been working feverishly on my first book, and in the course of our conversations, Doug offered to review my draft. Without my even asking, he wrote one of the kindest endorsements I could’ve asked for. I felt undeserving to have a New York Times bestselling author and former assistant to a US president endorse my writing, but that is just the way he and his wife were: gracious and hospitable in a way that bordered on being magical. Doug’s endorsement for my book read in part, “Matt Brown is like a Francis Schaeffer for a new generation.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Matt Brown