A few years ago, I was confronted with that question while I was speaking to the International Mission Board media team in Richmond, Virginia. They’re the men and women responsible for documenting, filming, and creating media for and about the more than 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries in the field throughout the world. They also have the significant responsibility of creating media that local churches can use to generate financial support for the cooperative missions program of the denomination.
I was talking about branding, perception, and similar issues, and I had mentioned that in a media-driven culture we’ve discovered that there are multiple steps people take toward becoming a believer. Therefore, not everything has to have an invitation for salvation, or an “altar call moment.” We also discussed that sometimes, it’s just important to “be” a Christian rather than “proclaim” your faith. Let your “deeds” draw people – not just your words. As Rick Warren said, “We live in an age of “deeds” not just “creeds.”
It was a great time, but during one of the breaks, one of the producers asked me a question: “How do you let people know the reason you are the way you are? Do you let them know it’s Jesus?”
While we don’t always have that opportunity, whenever you can, it is important in business, artistic, social, or other situations to let people know why you’re different. For an earlier generation, the drive was to tell them about Jesus FIRST. But today, in an age where the perception of Christianity is at one of it’s lowest points in our history, we often feel we need to speak softly – or at the very least, sensitivity.
But truth is, we still need to speak.