We are all very good at talking . . . writing . . . speaking and finding every imaginable way to present our ideas. Usually our human nature kicks in when it comes to where we invest this time doesn’t it? If we are going to speak, write or discuss an idea, we want the credit for it.
Now there is nothing wrong with getting credit for your ideas or sharing your ideas in a way that allows your ministry to grow. But there is something very self-focused about only sharing ideas when you benefit.
As I have been going through the Lausanne Global Conversation, I am seeing many wonderful articles with no comments or interactions. It is a natural thing and Forrester Research documented it in Groundswell. Their research shows that the vast majority of people on social media sites are spectators, joiners or collectors. Only a small group tends to be critics and creators.
But as Christians in a global conversation, what does God expect of us? I think Philippians 2:1-3 is particularly applicable:
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
As we think about these verses in the context of how we interact in a global conversation it should give us pause . . . it certainly does me. I am the first to throw my ideas out there but sometimes I struggle to listen.
One thing that I have seen in the conversation is a wonderful spirit of humility in many of the articles. Many end with questions instead of declarative statements. That is a wonderful example of creating an environment where others can jump in and encourage those who have shared.
Did you ever think of the fact that a comment on a blog might be an encouragement to a fellow believer? From experience, I can say that it is. One of the conversations that has a very healthy dialogue is Colin Buckland’s article “Is This the Way It Should Be?” He has over 1300 views and over 20 comments. If we are to get out of this conversation everything that God intends, then more conversations should look like Colin’s discussion on Biblical leadership.
So as you consider how to give of yourself and encourage others in this global conversation, what is God calling you to do?
Participation: Go to the Lausanne Global Conversation, click on the first article you see, take the time to read it and leave a comment – no matter how simple or brief.
Engagement: As you continue on in your ministry, ask yourself how willing you are to share ideas in other people’s space when you do not get the credit. Look intentionally for ways to do this.
Ownership: Take the time to match up a person’s great idea with a place to share it that encourages and blesses another.