the world needs to hear of the love and compassion that Christians are demonstrating in daily life in very practical ways.
All over the world Christian humanitarian organisations are actively involved in relieving human suffering and providing hope for the needy. This is not just in community development projects — providing water, education, agriculture, health, refugee relief, rehabilitation services — but in other ways too. Local churches are often involved in their own community while Christians in their own professional fields engage in worthy projects, motivated and influenced by their Christian principles.
Sadly, the world largely does not hear about these things. Often, people remain ignorant and hold on to negative stereotypical attitudes toward Christians and churches. But when they do actually see or receive Christian love in action, there is often a positive change in attitude and response. Misconceptions are often corrected and stereotypes of Christians have to be put aside.
Sometimes we may be both surprised and encouraged by the observations of secular journalists. Notable was an article in The Times entitled As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God. While describing himself as "a confirmed atheist" Matthew Parris writes:
I've become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changed people's hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good (The Times, Dec 27 2008)
As radio producers we have a distinct duty to position Christianity and its adherents in this way. It changes the attitudes of those who may be antagonistic. It also encourages, inspires, informs and empowers believers when they hear of the good works fellow Christians are doing. The presence of God's Kingdom needs to be demonstrated through his people. It also needs to be recognised as God's work - so that He gets the glory and not we ourselves.
Our programs can focus on topics or issues that draw attention to what Christians are doing in society. In practical terms this may be through visiting communities where churches and Christian agencies are engaged. Or it may be through inviting representatives to the studio for interview with possible phone-in options where possible.
Last updated 13 Jan 2011
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