Anyone growing up in the 80s and 90s will know the pain as we moved from analog to digital. We had to throw our our beloved record and tape collections to replace them with shiny new CDs and later iTunes playlists. Why did we do it? Digital music is clearer and crisper, it doesn’t have the noise that analog does (and digital stores better). But some can argue that the old school analogue is warmer and the noise is more authentic.
In this picture, you can see the difference between an analog signal and a digital signal. The analog signal is smooth and captures all of the nuance of the original signal. The digital signal takes samples at certain points of the signal and replicates them to give only the high points and low points. What’s missing is the nuance. The point is that digital thinks only in terms of ‘on’ and ‘off’, you are one or the other. Analog works in terms of the range between ‘on’ and ‘off’.
Should preaching be digital or analog?
The case for digital can be made in that we are preaching to Christians and non-Christian. One is either one or the other. You are either on or off, following Jesus or not. How we apply the Bible will differ depending the person Is Christian or not. Right? Perhaps not.
There is a decision that Christians make when they decide to follow Jesus. But that decision can be like the decision a captain makes to change direction of a large ship. The decision can be made but the effects can take some time to be seen.
The reality is that digital is not the best way of seeing people. Christians may may have made the big decision of following Jesus but there are usually thousands of little conversions that still need to be made.
To some degree, same can be said of non Christians. Though they are still to make the decision of committing their life to Jesus, some of their life has already started to change, some of those small conversions have already started to happen. They are at church, they are investigating Jesus, etc. Already the Spirit is at work.
Does this mean I don’t think the fundamental call for someone to change their life and follow Jesus shouldn’t happen? Of course not, but this cannot be the only call for conversion. Are we calling for all our people to convert all their lives?
Yes still the fundamental call for life repentance but we need to preach for the thousand of decisions that still need to be made.