By Dr. Art Sprunger
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine all the time! Don’t let Satan snuff it out, I’m gonna let it shine! Don’t let Satan snuff it out...
This little light of mine. You are important. You have one little light to shine. You are the candle, but He is the flame. Don’t forget that you are sharing the flame of God’s love with others through the presentation and productions you share.
Are we not living in pretty perilous times? That which used to be such a cool part of the vision and plans of professionals for the future seemed so certain and secure. If only we can get the funding, the opportunity, the technology, the audience then great things will happen. But over the last year or so it has suddenly been thrown for a huge crushing tailspin.
What’s the Message?
We, as expert leaders in the church, facilities and production fields of setting up these venues have learned the hard way that security and trust in our own efforts and understanding are not nearly as profound as we had thought.
Remember the days when the famous Canadian media philosopher, Marshall McLuhan, taught that “the medium IS the message”? We have been reminded, by this pandemic, that this is a lie. The medium without a message of hope and truth is as empty as the facilities, churches, halls, restaurants, and businesses have been.
Content is critical to comprehension.
Context is critical to comprehension as well! Whether you’re working with kids, with teens, with young adults, or with older adults, each is important as an individual; and so are you. Each of us comes from different places, different backgrounds, different contexts. Content and context are both critical to great communication. Your platforms are not just about creating a great YouTube presentation or performance. You can do that too, but I urge you to communicate a real message of significant content to the specific individuals within the context of your venue.
There’s More to the Context
Beyond the context of your venue, pay attention, if you can, to explore and know the real life contexts of the individuals whom you are reaching, whether in person or remotely. Each individual is unique. Each is a single life, holding a solitary candle. Each has their own historical, developmental, motivational and current life context. Some may be focused on security. Some may be focused on identity. Some may be focused on integrity. Each is created in God’s image and is precious in His sight. God’s Word has a message for each and every one. Don’t forget this when you work on the venue and create the platform for presenting the message you believe God wants you to share with your audience. One body, with many parts.
We are all impacted by what is going on around us in the world. We may be impacted in different ways, but we are all in the context of a worldwide event. Although the message of fear is motivational, fear is never the message you want to give. Love is. Perfect love casts off all fear, because fear involves penalties. There is no fear in love. If God is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer (and He certainly is), He is not about to abandon His promises. God’s love is faithful and secure, even when we are not. Do not ignore the absolute beauty and power of His wisdom and trustworthiness. Be wise. Instill this in every facet of working together to meet the needs and tap into the sources of your team and those you want to reach.
Remember, as you plan your work and work your plan, keep these in mind:
Comprehension is critical to communication
Content is critical to comprehension
Context is critical to comprehension
We are not God. We do not and cannot be the final authority. We are called to serve, not be served. We humbly need to trust Him to lead us, or we will be like those who David wrote about in Psalm 10. There are those who like to ignore God and do their own thing, as if He does not matter. In reality, if you are not including reliance on Him for your wisdom, strength, protection, direction and provision, even as you tweak the platform to meet the new needs of these rather immense challenges to creating the right venue for declaring the message, you will totally miss out on His blessings. You can be so close, and yet so far.
Understand that you are important to the message of new hope and freedom for everyone, so do it with as much excellence as you can. But the medium is NOT the message. Let your candle hold the light and share it with others without letting Satan, or any individual or any challenge, snuff it out.
Feel free to contact Dr. Art Sprunger at NewHopeandFreedom.com if interested in exploring more ways to create a clear message or to help polish the inner smile of personal and interpersonal freedom from a Biblical perspective.