Unlike-Minded

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There used to be like-minded people in the world, but now there are only unlike-minded people.  I used to pray for harmony, for unity, for getting along.  Now, I pray nobody gets hurt.

This is terrible, the state of things.  It’s a plague.  This is the kind of polarized thinking that tears down nations, and friendships, and churches.  Is there anything we can do to fix this?

A world filled with unlike-minded people will surely rip itself apart at the seams.  Surely this is not what our children want to inherit.  Surely this is not what Jesus taught us.  If you keep standing over there, and I keep standing over here, the chasm between us could swallow us whole.

What is to be done?

One answer is simple but a challenge:  We have to learn to like each other again. We have to try.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. –Philippians 2:1-2

When I relearn how I like your funny stories, your excellent skills as a chef, your passion for Fleetwood Mac, and your dedication to discipleship—then I remember your humanity, and that you are a person of worth.

And if you relearn how you like my doodles, and how I treat my kids, my ability to fix anything, and my willingness to step out in faith—then you remember my humanity, and that I am a person of worth.

We will still have some heated discussions about the issues, and sometimes we’ll be loud and proud about it, but our capacity to listen will be vastly multiplied.  We may never agree with each other on all the issues out there, but we will remember how to value each other as children of God.  Doesn’t that sound nice? Healthy even?

I’m tired of being unlike-minded.  I’m going to start liking again.  People.  Sisters and Brothers in Christ.  People I disagree with.  Would you like to try, too?

Well, look at that.

Something we have in common.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Liking, following, reblogging, pinning, and sharing.

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There are 1.01 BILLION people on Facebook.  Tumblr (a blogging site) cranks out 55 million new posts every day.

But only about 20% of U.S. citizens go to church on Sunday.

How do we get the word out to people who won’t come and listen to a sermon?

By liking, following, reblogging, pinning, and sharing.

You know those inspirational or  thought provoking posts you come across every day online?  Think of them as tiny little mini-sermons.  Not enough space to present the whole gospel, just enough to make an impression in the 2 seconds it takes to scroll down the page.

What if those little mini-messages amount to more than warm fuzzies? What if this is how the Gospel gets spread to people nowadays?

That’s what I’ve been wondering, so a month ago I started creating little one-panel quotes like this one:

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I posted them to Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and WordPress.  (Those are all different social networking sites, in case you aren’t familiar), and tagged them all with the name of my blog site:  AdventureChristianity.com.

I can only estimate, but in that amount of time, I figure thousands of people have seen some of these short messages.  Maybe more.

Have you ever stopped to think about what happens when you “share” something, on Facebook, for instance?  When you share an article, a cartoon, or a quote like the one above, everybody on your friends list sees it in their feed.

So when you share something inspirational, you’re actually practicing e-vangelism.  And then your friends have the possibility to like or share it for their friends.  That’s how some posts spread like wildfire across the web.

That’s fun on Facebook, connecting with your friends, but can be even more fun on a site like Tumblr where people search for tags you attach to a post, like #Christianity or #Change.  These are people you’ve never met, connecting with your Good News. Here’s a case in point:

Last week, Jan and I were driving in Kansas City and she said, “The World’s Not Falling Apart.  It’s just changing.”  I thought that was a great quote so I made this:

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I posted this to all the sites to see what would happen.  Within half an hour 3 people on Tumblr had reblogged the post for themselves.  One was a teenager girl, a Christian.  One was a teenage boy, recovering from cutting himself.  The third was a 30 year old gay man struggling to be accepted.

Wow.  In half an hour, not only were these 3 people comforted by Jan’s hopeful quote, but now that post exists on four people’s blogs.  And everyone who visits their pages gets to see it. And so on, and so on. Isn’t that cool?

Maybe you’re not an online person, if so this may sound like I’m speaking a foreign language. Sorry!

But if you are one of the vast majority who connect with others online, take this to heart:  You don’t have to create your own artwork or post your own quotes, although it’s fun and easy to do.  Just pass on to others the things that resonante with your faith.  And there’s no need to overshare, just a couple things a day will deliver the message.

If you surf the internet as an e-vangelist, you might find yourself passing on Good News to people you know, and people you don’t.

Again, the messages are shorter than any sermon you’ve ever listened to, but they can still be a glimpse of the Kingdom for someone who needs to see it.

Liking, following, reblogging, pinning, and sharing.

This is how Christians in the 21st Century

help Jesus go viral.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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http://AdventureChristianity.com