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|Take Your Remote Control to Work
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted August 22, 2005
The year 2000 marked more than the beginning of a new millennium. But amid the fireworks and the Y2K scare another vitally important celebration went totally unnoticed. The year 2000 marked the 50th anniversary of the television remote control and the introduction of channel surfing as a way of life.
The first television remote control was introduced in1950 by an engineer at the Zenith Corporation. The remote control was attached to the television by a cable. It was the cable that prompted the first wireless remote to be introduced in 1955. It seems as though people were complaining that they kept tripping over the cable so another engineer came up with a wireless remote. The first remote control was appropriately called “Lazy Bones.” (And you thought this was just a spiritual article.)
Channel surfing has become a national past time. The great advantage to channel surfing has also become one of its greatest challenges. Someone shared with me an article they stumbled across in which advertisers were bemoaning the fact that very few people actually watch commercials on television anymore. Viewers are doing exactly what I do when commercials appear on the screen; the thumb begins to twitch and the channel begins to change. We click between the movie, the game, and the show.
In order to combat this challenge, advertisers have become more intentional about placing their products in movies and shows. Scenes are actually being written into movies and television for the sole purpose of showcasing a particular sponsor’s product. If we won’t watch their commercials, we will see our favorite star using the product as a part of the show.
Have you made the spiritual application yet? If we continue to expect people to find spirituality solely in the church then we will continue to be frustrated and ineffective. A great number of people are simply channel surfing their lives around the “organized church.” It’s like me watching a commercial for a new hair spray. (It helps to have hair to spray.) It’s just not looked at as being relevant.
A survey suggested that one of the reasons most people do not seek spirituality in the church is because the church has ceased to be relevant. I know of nothing more relevant to human need than the Lord but if we don’t put the “product” out there in a way people will find appealing, then what good is the product to them.
I am in no way suggesting any change to the Gospel itself. Please understand this very vital fact: you cannot change the message of God’s love because it is absolute truth. What I am suggesting is that we do exactly what the entertainment industry is doing. Write the product into the script. In other words, write Jesus into your daily life. Don’t settle for simply inviting someone to church, let your life show them why you go in the first place.
That’s what Jesus was trying to get us to understand in Matthew 28:19-20. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Just a note about the verb tense associated with the word “go.” It literally means as you are going. In other words, write the Lord into the script of your daily life to the point that your faith is influencing others. People can always surf their lives around an invitation to church but they can’t ignore a changed life. Pray and ask the Lord to help you give him some screen time in your daily schedule and encounters with others. The impact can be award-winning.
If we will begin to allow the Lord to write Himself into our daily life-script, then we will impact others. And, if we impact others by our daily lives, then we will have the opportunity to share how the Lord can become a part of their life-script. But whatever you do, don’t forget the importance of the church. It’s the place where we learn just how special the Product is and how much He loves us. The more we learn, the more we want to share the script with others. So share in the streets and grow in the pews.
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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