Netflix and Missions

Netflix and Missions

Yesterday I read Rachel Kleppen’s article in Christianity Today entitled, Netflix Is Making It Harder to Be a Missionary. Kleppen is a missionary in Taipei, Taiwan and the article was and focused on how the internet and social media (among other advances) make being a missionary challenging.

There was a lot of great stuff in the article and I want to use it as a jumping off point to share a number of things I’ve been working through since our family landed in Ireland 7 years ago. If you haven’t read it, I invite you to do that before reading any further. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

The article has started a bunch of thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head. I won’t get to them all in one post, but I do want to share a few of them over the next week or so. However, I need to start with my one frustration and get it out of the way…

Let me say at the start that I in no way take issue, with anything Kleppen wrote. Again, I thought it was a great article on an important topic. That said, I do want to challenge the title of the article “Netflix Is Making It Harder to Be a Missionary.”

Netflix is not making it harder to be a missionary.

Netflix and social media are a new challenges that missionaries face. In many ways they present challenges…but they also provide opportunities. Since Netflix is ubiquitous, it can serve as a point of connection and a conversation starter, and even an opportunity to discuss spiritual themes in some of the shows.

While I found the headline frustrating, I assume that as with newspapers, the writer didn’t write the headline. There was nowhere in the article where Kleppen indicated she views missions today as harder. In fact she points out that there were some things that previous generations had to go through that we don’t. Sadly headlines often have far more weight than they should.

The Apostle Paul shared the gospel in a Gentile world that had never heard of Jesus…and as he wrote, it was often seen as foolishness. We share the gospel in a world that believes they already know all there is to know about Jesus, and can point to some pretty horrific things people have done in his name.

We can agree they are very different challenges without getting into which is harder.

So clearly I can learn a lot from what Paul did and said. But I have to take his context and mine in to consideration. We simply have different challenges (one of my challenges being that I am not Paul).

Like I said…there was a lot in the article that got my brain moving…I’ll share more soon. But for now, I need to do some enculturating and watch the All-Ireland! (Up the Dubs!)

Posted by bob in culture, 0 comments

Off to the Dominican Republic

I have two big trips coming up this year.  Next month Liz & I head to Idaho for 12 days, and in July, the whole family heads to Ireland for an extended vacation/sabbatical.

All that to say that this short little 2-day trip to Santo Domingo has kind of snuck up on me.  Earlier this week I set Liz an email about an open house for us to look at and she asked how this would work with our trip on Sunday.  I had no idea what she was talking about.

Anyways, tomorrow afternoon, Liz & I are flying down to the DR after church to meet up with a bunch of US & DR Vineyard pastors. The main goal is for everyone to get to meet each other, and to come up with some plans/goals for the next 5 years.

In 2001 a few Vineyard pastors from NY went down for a week, to meet some people and begin praying about planting churches in the DR.  In the past 9 years, we have made some great connections and are excited about where God leads things from here.

Please be praying for our trip, that God would do some amazing things over the next 3 days.

Posted by bob in Ithaca Church, 0 comments