Attention

11/2/2015

FROM THE BISHOP
JAMES R. KING, JR.


Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! 

As I listened to scripture during my devotion time, I was led to tweet this response: 

God’s plan is to speak through you today. Listen as the Holy Spirit tells you what to say and do. 1 Cor. 6:19 

During my time of prayer and reflection I was reminded of how difficult it is today to get the attention of people even if you are offering them the good news.

Historically, as civilization has evolved, options have increased for us as humans. We are constantly sorting out what should be our priorities in life. In today’s society there are so many options for people that you have to work very hard to get their attention. The best way to get people’s attention is with fear or good news. I find it amazing to observe television networks who seek to keep current and keep us tuned in.

They take pride in being the first to report what they call “breaking news.” More often than not the breaking news is related to violence, war, climate catastrophe, some devastating accident, a drop in the stock market, or some political flaw. The point here is that breaking news is typically bad news. 

When we want to emphasize the good news offered through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we should keep in mind the daunting challenge that is always before us. Because we are wired for survival we must first think creatively and consistently if we want to reach people for the transformation of the world.

Before we can get people to listen to us, we must first get them to give us their attention. The story told in Acts 3:1-10 captures this sentiment. Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray when they ended up healing a beggar. In order for the miracle to occur they first had to get the attention of the beggar. Peter said to him: “Look at us.” God is constantly asking us to look for his grace and listen as the Holy Spirit speaks the will of God to us.

Below are a few suggestions to get people to “Look at us” in order to offer them the gospel:

  1. Be the Good news – treat people wonderfully well
  2. Do not put all your eggs in one basket – offer a variety of ways to get the attention of busy people.
  3. Engage people – connect and involve
  4. Promote creatively – Charles Wesley wrote the words of hymns using bar tunes 
  5. Add signs, repaint old signs, cut the grass and limbs away from current signs – in other words, freshen up
  6. Offer people what they are hungry for. Some examples include a place of peace, acceptance, a listening ear, and unconditional love, to name a few.
The bottom line is this: just because we have the best news in the world does not mean people are paying attention: We have to work hard to consistently get the attention of people in order to offer them the gospel.

Something New!

In addition to sharing thoughts and photos on Twitter and my blog I now plan to share a devotional thought called “My devotional takeaway.” My hope is that by sharing a takeaway thought you may find some encouragement and support for each day’s journey. Included will be the scripture reference if you want to go deeper into the rich well of God’s word.

Read our Advocate (www.sgaumc.org/advocate), follow me as I tweet at www.twitter.com/BishopJamesKing, or visit my blog at www.bishopking.org.  

Until next time, remember – God’s will for us is good. We must do the rest.

Growing a Christlike world.

With love, 

Your Bishop,
James R. King, Jr.