We live in an unprecedented time; a very exciting time. We can communicate across the world in seconds and this offers a great opportunity for us. It is well documented that all electronic media influences American culture very powerfully. We consume it regularly, but as members of the communication department, we must remember we are more than just consumers. We are producers. We just aren’t watching stuff; we are making it!
We Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, text, email, share videos, make memes, music or whatever. (One could argue we are each little branded media companies.)
God created us in his image to create. He calls us to make things. To write. To record. To speak. To film. To tell a story. To create content. However, we can’t do this on our own.
When we first were building the Mel Johnson Media Center in 2003, our foundational verse was Psalm 127:1 - “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” The communication faculty do not want you to labor in vain. We want to you flourish, and to do that you must pursue Christ and then pursue your craft with great zeal. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember, nothing thwarts the Lord.
Our call in the Department of Communication is more than just about the style of how we communicate; it’s about why and what we communicate. It’s about being faithful. In other words, as we tell our stories and contextualize our lives, our goal is more than just pleasing or entertaining target audiences. It’s weaving the gospel naturally throughout excellent work - whether explicitly or implicitly. According to Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible, “You can’t preach Christianity without content. The biblical message, the good news, is good news of content.”
Oh, by the way, communication is not only a gift from God. According to many employment skill surveys, good communication is one of the most highly-valued skills employers are looking for in new hires. So, pursue Christ and pursue your craft.
Certainly, Christian media must relate to the audience, but relating to the audience cannot be the goal. Building an active personal joyful relationship with Christ is. With this goal in mind, Christian media can illustrate to audiences the whole picture of Christ - both the gravity and gladness in God. Joy and sorrow.