". . . .my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests.. . . .a people without understanding will come to ruin!" Hosea 4: 6, 14
The responsibility of Christian communicators goes far beyond being sure we select a pleasing typeface and attractive images or using the latest social media to connect with our congregations. We have been entrusted with the words of eternal life. The Great Commission outlines our tasks: we are to share the good news of salvation in Jesus alone and grow followers into disciples. In all of it we are to speak the truth in love.
In addition, as these verses reminded me, not only are we personally responsible for faithfully communicating the truth we have been entrusted with, but our success or failure in doing that has lasting consequences for the people we reach out to, lead, and train. If we don't know the mind of God, if we don't know what is on His heart and His view of what is important, of what good to do and what sins to avoid, we won't communicate that to our people.
God's heart revealed by God's prophets
The verses above are from Hosea, which is probably not one of most people's favorite devotional books. It tells the heart-breaking story of a man whose wife repeatedly cheated on him and sunk so low he had to buy her back from the slave market. God knew ahead of time what she would do and yet he told Hosea to marry her. He also told him to love her, buy her back and care for her as a picture of His love to His unfaithful people.
There is a lot about the book I find distressing. I'd rather skip it than read it, but a discipline I've committed to for many years is to, at least once or twice every year, to read the Bible through. As I get into the section of the prophets, there is a lot I'd rather skip than endure a recitation of sins that seem far too contemporary for comfort and of the inevitable, but purposeful, judgement that follows them.
But if I want to be a faithful communicator for the Lord, I can't skip these sections. They are like a splash of icy water to remind me of the eternal consequences of our words--in print, in bits and bytes, in short tweets and lengthy blogs, in unthinking outbursts and considered sermons--what we share matters.
Let the Bible challenge you
I cannot recommend enough reading through the Bible, cover-to-cover, every year as a discipline for every church communicator. Below is a short video I did for my Sunday School class to encourage them. As I was reading this morning I realized that no matter what I share about communication strategy, if I don't encourage you to primarily communicate from a heart overflowing with the knowledge of God, we all risk our communication being no more than noise.
Commit to increasing your knowledge of God, His Word and His ways--share it effectively and never let it be said that the people you are responsible for were destroyed from a lack of knowledge.