Apps are everywhere. And I'm hesitant to jump into new ones. I'm not sure why. If I don't like one I've downloaded, I can always delete it. I guess I'm not that techie adventurous.
On my recent mission trip to Brazil, I invited a group of young committed leaders who work with Calede, a former intern at Spirit of Life, to meet up with me for pizza so I could find out some of the new and innovative ideas they had come up with in the church. I was really impressed at some of their ideas. One of them that they were using in their youth service was to give the young people 5 minutes of fun and laughter at the end. So they would pick a couple of pairs of young people out of the service, give them each a mellon, and have a contest to see who could finish eating the Mellon first. There were, of course, prizes for the winners. I can't wait to try this one out at Spirit of Life.
You may think this is beyond crazy, but the reason for it was the recognition of a need for their young people to have some pure, wonderful laughter in church. Cool.
Back to my techie point. Calede then asked the group if any of them had used the app called Periscope? None had. It's new. It's basically a chat app. It shows you all the people all over the world who are chatting on Periscope. You can just jump into their conversation and talk. The other night Calede found a couple of guys in Southern Brazil chatting and jumped in on their conversation. He discovered the conversation was a sex talk so Calede jumped in and told those guys that God loved them and had a plan for their lives. And he encouraged them to try Jesus. Pretty bold. The guys immediately unfriended Calede. But Calede was so excited and said, "I was able to interrupt that conversation with the name of Jesus. It's the Internet. Jesus can go there. We don't have to surrender the Internet to the ungodly."
We were all pretty excited about Calede's story. He pulled out his phone, signed on to Periscope, and quickly found a Brazilian and joined us. He saw he was talking, and you could see the guy like a FaceTime conversation. He was about 20, baseball cap, ordinary looking. Calede joined his chat and wrote, "God loves you my friend and has a plan for your life." The guy lookeed a bit surprised and appeared to re-read Calede's message. Then he typed back, "Thank you." We were all amazed.
After a minute of Portuguese chatter among all them, I made a suggestion. What if at their next youth service, everyone download Periscope, and at the last 5 minutes, the youth could flood people all round the world chatting on the app with a gospel message? It would be better than a Mellon eating contest.
They really liked the idea.
We are Christians. Jesus said take his message to the ends of the Earth.