I like to read the newspaper. I receive a paper daily, and generally read it from cover to cover.
I am aware I am a dinosaur in the eyes of some. Newspapers are not what they once were. There was a time when every major city had at least two major dailies, one printed in the morning and the other in the afternoon. They were the source of news, along with the nightly TV news, for the majority of the American people.
I started reading the paper at about age 8. I discovered the comics and the sports page where I could read about my beloved Braves every day from April to September. The Braves rarely played into October then.
By the time I was 12 we received two papers daily, one from Atlanta in the morning, and one from our local county (The Gwinnett Daily News) in the afternoon. The latter became my favorite, especially in the mid-1970s when I played high school baseball and basketball.
Do you know what a big deal it is to a 16-17-year-old to read about himself in the paper? I was never the star, but to see my name and the phrase, "pitched in with 10 points and five assists," was heady stuff. I still have all of those articles in a scrapbook in a closet at my house.
Why all of this about the paper? I believe the newspaper still has an important role to play, and I am grateful for it. But I also know that we must adapt in order to get the message out. The papers that have adapted are the ones that have survived, and even thrived.
This is applicable to the church as well. When we cling to old methods and ways, we make them more important than the gospel itself. It is not our methods that make up the good news of Jesus. It is the message of who he is and what he has done for us.
I want to encourage you to help your church adapt its methods so that we might reach the next generation with the wonderful message. Don’t hold tightly to how we do things. Rather hold on to the one who gave himself for you and me.