Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About
At the time of writing this piece, the following news articles were featured on the homepage of USA Today’s website.
“Ukraine Seeks Modern Tanks From Western Allies”
“Lunar New Year 2023: The Year of the Rabbit”
” ‘Toadzilla’ found in Australia Park May Be World’s Biggest Toad”
“Man Lost at Sea for 24 Days Survives on Ketchup, Seasoning, Rainwater”
“Scenes of Deadly Protests Continue in Peru”
Tanks, rabbits, giant toads, ketchup, and protests. You would be hard-pressed to find another place where all of the above is mentioned together. Children’s book authors aren’t exactly publishing novels that feature giant toads taking over the world using tanks. No one, to my knowledge, has written anything regarding pet rabbits protesting the right to eat more ketchup with their owners. In a lot of ways, the news is unpredictable. What is publicized depends on spontaneous events that occur throughout the year. On the flip side, you can make the argument that the news is actually predictable. That is, you can guess what articles news companies will feature based on what they have featured in the past.
There’s an old quote that has been tossed around for centuries that says, “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.” Perhaps there is truth to that statement. I’ve personally never seen a lightning strike, so to witness it strike twice in the same place seems like a reality not many, if any, will ever experience. Yet, when it comes to the news, lightning strikes in the same place week in and week out. That is to say, the same type of stories are recycled repeatedly. Without checking social media, you can typically know prior to looking at CNN or Fox News what is going to be featured. The patterns are there. Consider the articles listed above. The articles center around 2 key themes: 1) World events affecting a great number of people, 2) Interesting or unusual stories that are sure to grab someone’s attention. Now look back at some of the headlining articles in the news just last week.
“Flooding, Outages, Attendance Drops”
“68 Die in Crash in Nepal”
“Girl, 9, ‘Over the Moon’ After She Finds Megalodon Tooth”
Here we go again. Tragedies such as people dying in a plane crash and others dealing with lingering issues due to flooding in California. Then right after talking about tragedies, you’ll find an author telling the story of a girl who found a tooth from a shark that has been extinct for quite some time. While there is nothing wrong with learning about what is happening in our world and hearing interesting stories about things occurring that are extraordinary in nature, I would say the majority of the population longs to hear about world events that are far more positive and extraordinary stories that are far more meaningful.
Enter stage right, the church of the living God. Do we not have a story far more meaningful than a giant toad or shark tooth being found? Is there no potential for our revivals to be world events that increase the hope people have for a better life and future? There are stories of revivals happening in our movement, that is not only shaping local churches, but they are reshaping local communities. Here is a challenge for us all. Let’s give news companies something to talk about. If we have a revival in our cities that is influencing multitudes, these companies will be forced to talk about it, because it’s what everyone will already be focused on. Ancient Roman historians like Josephus and Tacitus wrote about Jesus, even when Christians were enemies of the state because the Christian church was flipping the world upside down (Acts 17:6). Meaning, news of what was happening in the church was spreading all over the world.
Whether you are a teenager or young adult reading this right now, remember you have the ability to ignite a revival in your city that will become news for the world to hear about. Start a Project 7 Bible Club that draws more students to your meetings than any other extracurricular activity at your school. Launch a Campus Ministry that becomes so exciting that even faculty members begin to show interest. This world needs better news to read about, so let’s give them what they need!
Andrew is the proud husband to Chelsea and father to Carson. Currently, he serves as youth pastor at the First Apostolic Church of Aurora, Illinois. He has been involved in youth ministry in some capacity for the last 13 years. Additionally, He serves as the Section 12 Youth Director and Media Coordinator for Illinois Youth Ministries. On the side, he owns a creative design company called Spark Innovative Solutions. His educational background includes a BA in Psychology, (minor in Communication) from Oakland University and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Liberty University.