Why does church communication matter? Why do we spend our lives in this endeavor? Perhaps the story of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses is instructive.
It was on this day — October 31 — in 1517 that Martin Luther first began disseminating his 95 Theses in a letter to an archbishop and (perhaps anecdotally) on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg. Within two weeks, the 95 Theses had spread across Germany. Within two months (according to ye olde Wikipedia), they’d gone viral across Europe. And it seems this was before the 95 Theses were translated from Latin to German and proliferated by the printing press.
Whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, in-between, or something else, you’re aware of the significance of Luther and his writing in the Protestant Reformation. You’re the aware that the Church and the world were forever shaped. But are you aware that you have the opportunity to continue what he started? Here’s what I mean …
If we were to reduce the story of the 95 Theses to its most basic elements, it might look something like this:
SCRIPTURE → CONVICTION → CLEAR COMMUNICATION → RESISTANCE → PERSEVERANCE → CHANGE
Yes, I acknowledge that I’ve drastically simplified a complex narrative (I’m a blogger — I can’t help it), but this is how I think it breaks down. And the reason I say all this is that I think you, as a communicator, are invited to participate in this same narrative. Nearly five centuries later, the Church and the world are still in need of Martin Luthers on large and small scales.
When we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, when we combine our convictions and our craft, when a compelling message reaches the audience who needs it most, amazing things can happen. Hearts can change, communities can change, the world can change.
All we have to do, when God whispers and inspiration strikes, is be willing to put pen to paper and hammer to nail.