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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Leaving the 99 to minister to the 1 and the Need to Feel Connected…

   “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? “And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. “Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14
   There are times when we need to see beyond the masses and go and minister unto the one. With the direction that social media is heading it makes it difficult for us to do so. It is easy to feel a false connection with others in our media circle, "Hey, I have already posted my FB status update, twitted, and emailed my friends.”

But have we really made a network-connection that is able to support us when we need it?

   My mind goes to the movie "Surrogates" where the dirty work of living has been turned over to humanoid robots. Citizens recline comfortably in their homes, linked remotely to younger, stronger, sexier versions of themselves, who work and play and do all the things that humans once used to do. It's an entrancing vision: In the future, we can let our surrogates take risks for us, do our jobs for us.

Do we let our social media outlets take the place of human connection?

   When Mary ran to Jesus‘ tomb after Jesus had been crucified, she encountered an angel who told her, “But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you,” Mark 16:7. Did you catch that; and Peter? Jesus is moving beyond the masses to reach out to Peter out of love. Even though Peter denied the Lord, the Lord is reaching out to him with love and forgiveness. We find out later in the book of John, that John reaches out to Peter in person. "He (Jesus) said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep" John 17:21.

   Who do you need to personally reach out to today?

   We all need to be like the shepherd mentioned in Matthew 18 and leave those around us to minister to the hurting person who is alone, frightened and praying for someone to come alongside them with friendship and an encouraging word.


melissa said...

every person counts...that's how i reflect on it...

Laura said...

Do we let our social media outlets take the place of human connection?

I think we do. Yet, if we look at our Facebook friends lists, for example, how many of the people on them would we even recognize if they cut us off in traffic?

Great reminder in this post, brother!

Debra said...

Bill, this is my first time here. What a surprise to read a message that is surely straight from heart of God. Do we let our social media outlets take the place of human connection? Admittedly I do sometimes.

The collective, in today’s world, takes precedence over the individual, be it in education, business, medicine, or in the church.

And it’s prevalent in the blogosphere as well, where many are more concerned with gaining masses of followers than in taking the time to thoughtfully reply to individuals who have commented at length on their blog posts, thus building a bond with a few.

Yes, Christ calls us to connect, but social networking isn’t the same as building relationships. I appreciate the scriptures you shared here and your meaningful message in its entirety.

Bill Meli said...

Thank you for your comments! I am reaching out to a friend of mine who has been going through a rough patch lately and it got me thinking about the need to reach out individually to others. Plus, it amazes me how attached I am to my cell phone; do I really need it within two feet of my body 24 hours a day? Honestly, I don't know how Christopher Columbus discovered the new world without one.

Jessica M said...

I think it's easy to think we are connected to people, via facebook, etc., and forget the benefits of actual conversation and ministering to a person in the flesh. There is no surrogate for human to human contact. Social networking has its benefits, but there are so many that aren't involved in social networking that we also need to reach, and shouldn't rely on those means exclusively when it comes to communicating.

A great post :)