We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
One of the privileges I have as a pastor is to preach from the Word of God each week. But that’s not the only form of communication I use as I serve my church and community. I communicate through emails, counseling sessions, Facebook posts, sharing meals, presenting at board meetings, and greeting neighbors. Every day is filled with opportunities to communicate and to be an ambassador for Christ.
In The Revolutionary Communicator (2004), Jedd Medefind and Erik Lokkesmoe make the case that one of the essential aspects of Jesus’s ministry was his communication. They touch on seven areas of communication that Jesus exemplified and challenge us to represent Jesus’s life and message as faithful ambassadors in our life and work. They devote their first chapter to focus on Jesus’s incredible ability to demonstrate attentiveness.
In the digitally saturated world we live in, attentiveness is an utmost commodity. In January 2018, Pew research reported that over 68% of Americans—across all demographics—used Facebook, with most users visiting at least once a day. And evidence is showing that even as technology helps people connect digitally, it also leads to increasing signs of isolation and even depression.
What can we expect to learn from Jesus about communicating in a modern world, when he didn’t have to compete for the attention of people immersed in emails, podcasts, text messages, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and emerging virtual reality technologies? Can growing our skills of attentiveness help us connect with people who give their attention to these powerful technologies?
If we are to be Christ’s representatives in our work and leadership, learning how Jesus paid attention and got people’s attention will help us become better leaders in the 21st century. Tomorrow we will look at a passage in which Jesus chose to pay attention in a particular way. And we’ll challenge ourselves to learn from a master communicator, that we might emulate him.
Something to Think About:
“In a media age, we assume that in a sea of competing messages, drawing attention to yourself is the one essential. In every age, the truth is amid countless rival messages, giving attention to others in the one sure way to be heard” (The Revolutionary Communicator, xxii).
Something to Do:
Think of an important influencer in your life and how that person both caught your attention and gave you attention. Consider emulating that in your own leadership this week and note if attentiveness is a natural aspect of your leadership or something you need to work on more purposefully.
Jesus, you were the master communicator, and I want to learn from you. Reveal to me opportunities to be an ambassador for your goodness in my daily work. Show me how to be attentive to you, to myself, and to others amidst a busy schedule each day. And help me to understand how to live fully aware of your presence in a digital age. Use me to help others experience the fullness of your life and light. Amen.