In Luke 5:30-36 Jesus is at a banquet and is asked about fasting, He turns the question into 2 parables: The first is adding new cloth to patch an old garment. As the cloth shrinks, the new patch will tear.
The second parable is about putting new wine into old wineskins. The old skin has already stretched to its maximum and served its purpose. Adding new wine will only make the old skin burst. It’s better, Jesus explains, to put new wine into new wineskins. As the wine expands, the new skin will too.
Part of Jesus’ descriptive words were dealing with the new teachings he was bringing. Jesus was preaching something fresh, revolutionary and radical, and the rituals and traditions of official Judaism could not contain it. I would propose to you that the very same imagery can be used for Faith, Media & Culture today.
Media is fresh, revolutionary and radical!
If you are a ministry leader over the age of 50? Maybe even 40? There is a high probability you are an old wineskin (you just don’t know it). You see media, devices and the various platforms as technology. Some of it you understand (email, texting, Facebook) but a lot of it is beyond your grasp. Media, you believe, is just another ministry you don’t have time for or resources to tackle properly. Correct?
(Many leaders still see media as gear…cameras, the sound system, the lights, the video projector. That’s media to them. Know what? That’s hardware. The software is the speaking, presenting, portraying…that’s more effective.)
The Message is sacred, but the Methods are not.
Here’s the challenge: Young people ages 4-34 “get” media. They are creating and using media content 7+ hours a day. How will you reach them? The Sunday morning message? Did you know that a recent survey discovered that 70% of Millennials are leaving the church? That’s the future of Christianity walking out the door to go to college or launch a career or look for other answers to life. They may never come back.
Want to reach them? MEDIA. But that takes a NEW WINE APPROACH.
You need to go to where they are searching…laptops, tablets, smart phones. To do so requires vision and the ability to create fresh content (on a regular basis) to engage them. Don’t have time? Recruit other young people to help. Then, and this is critically important, train & inspire them. (They will make mistakes. Let them.)
You need a rocking good website. Update it weekly. Then connect with people via a Facebook page, Instagram…and perhaps Twitter too. Consider Live Stream. Reach out, expand your audience, engage, invite, followup.
If Jesus can transform water into wine, he can transform you into a new wineskin. His message (the Gospel) is new wine. Media is how you pour out His message (the method).