Declaring the Whole Gospel
again, we must first explain our terms so as not to be misled by the English terminology. A ministry of proclamation in biblical terms is concerned with declaring truth without shame, but also in a manner that listeners can understand.
We take our cue from the Old Testament prophets who spoke the words of God. Although we make the mistake of confusing the word prophecy with foretelling the future, proclamation is what the prophets did. They warned of coming judgement and the coming of Christ as well as clearly stating the truth about God and the Gospel of the Kingdom.
In our attempts to make programs attractive to our audiences Christian broadcasters sometimes neglect to give a clear presentation of what the Bible teaches. Former FEBC Program Director, Carl Lawrence, once made this point well when said: We are in danger of saying nothing — beautifully. We also stand in danger of going to the other extreme and include talk of sin, judgement, forgiveness and eternal life in every program! This is a recipe for quickly losing an audience and suggests that the producer's understanding of the Gospel, his knowledge of his audience and his role as a communicator are seriously inadequate.
We do need solid verse-by-verse teaching of the Word of God to accomplish the proclamation role. But we also need to say it plainly in simple language that people can understand and take interest in. Both content and format should be relevant to the listener, to the listening context and the radio medium. Radio audiences are not church congregations. Monologue may be the most practical and appropriate format in certain situations but not so desirable for an interesting radio program that people will want to listen to. We are likely to attract a much wider audience and get our message across with greater effectiveness if we creatively use other formats (or frames to frame the picture). For example, group discussion, dialogue or interviews will convey the message just as effectively if not more so.
We might ask “what is the whole Gospel?”. Space does not permit a full explanation here but suffice it to say that it goes further than simply stating how we might enter, through faith in Jesus Christ, into God’s family. It extends beyond that. .
Any proclamation of the Gospel needs to be supported by actions that are consistent with the Gospel. As Jesus pointed out we shall be judged by our actions. In a day where words and ideologies are cheap people are not easily swayed by persuasive arguments or presentations. They need to also feel and experience the love of Christ in action through his people. Words and action need to go hand-in hand and speak the same message.
Chapter 4 expands on our understanding of the Message we need to deliver — and how it relates to the mass media. Chapter 5 explores more deeply how we incarnate the living word of God in the context of radio.
Last updated 16 Oct 2009
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