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We Must Speak: Rethinking Communications and Faith

"Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak." - Ephesians 6:20

we must speak

"In the most connected era in human history, as the tools of communication have become ubiquitous and instantaneous, one voice is missing...that of mainline denominations. A dozen years into the millennium, our global repository of Christian unity and experience, history and tradition, is for all practical purposes on the sideline. It appears we have all but abandoned our responsibility to bring the Good News to the people of the world." -- The Rev. Larry Hollon, General Secretary of United Methodist Communications

The mainline denominations are facing a communications crisis. In his book, "We Must Speak," Larry Hollon issues a clarion call to action: speak now in the language of the day - through the electronic culture – with commitment, energy and competence, or risk becoming obsolete.

In our media-saturated age, we are bombarded with thousands of messages a day, yet we are left hungering for that one message that speaks to our souls and gives our lives meaning. The faith community has that message, and through the power of communications, it can transform lives.

In the past decade, The United Methodist Church has participated in this sacred work and has witnessed incredible results. Here are just a few:

  • Deaths by malaria in Africa cut in half by collaborative communications and program partnerships
  • Non-religious persons entering the church through Rethink Church advertising and finding vitality in spirit and community
  • Overwhelming responses by donors to crisis communications after the tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast and the earthquake in Haiti.

As you read "We Must Speak," you will learn how to elevate communications ministry effectively so that the Good News is more than heard, it is lived.

"The Rev. Larry Hollon sets out the case for why we need to maintain our "voice" in the turbulence of the modern era of communications. ... (He) argues for a larger vision of a church that knows how to tell its vital story well. " – Mike McCurry, Former White House Press Secretary

FROM THE BOOK:

Unprecedented opportunities

Through communications, "we have unprecedented opportunities today for engaging global audiences in new, relevant ways. As people of faith, we must consider our own individual call to communicate on behalf of the church and the opportunity we have to reshape our culture."

Decline and Disengagement

The church's decline over the past three decades "coincides with our disengagement from the culture and our withdrawal from mainstream media, the most influential entity in shaping attitudes, values and culture."

Networks of Influence

Working together, mainline communions have power."They are networks of influence with the capacity to effect healing, empowerment, reconciliation and justice."