One of my all-time favorite lines from an all-time great movie, and certainly one of the most quotable, comes from the classic 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman. The line was first spoken by the prison warden to Luke, and then repeated later in the movie by Luke himself. Many of you know already what I’m talking about: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
I won’t say it was Luke who inspired us to launch the TCASC ePistlee-newsletter six years ago, on October 9, 2009. But it was our desire to make sure we did all we could to effectively communicate with our church body.
That first ePistlebegan with this quote: “Communication is essential to community.” We went on to explain that one of the greatest desires at our church was to live out Biblical community, and share that community with our… community. And so, we wanted to make sure we were clear and open in our communication as a church, so that we would encourage this body to live out that community. Here’s what I wrote then:
What is that “community” really all about? The Greek word used in the New Testament is koinonia, which suggests a sharedness, a commonality, a connectedness, that begins with the common bond that we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ. The depth of that community will always depend upon our level of transparency and trust. Thus, you can’t really experience the deepest levels of Biblical community without being on the same page. Hence, open communication is a building block of genuine community.
So, we started an online newsletter hoping to catch up with the times and allow regular (and inexpensive) communication with our membership, regular attenders and visitors. The goal was to keep those plugged in to church regularly updated on our ministries, so you would be able to get involved and invite your friends to join us. I continued then…
You probably remember that the early church apostles wrote epistles, which were simply letters used to communicate with and encourage fellow believers in the first-century church world. Some twenty centuries later, we seek to use the best in modern technology to do the same.
That modern technology has evolved to include social media, and we have been able to weekly connect the newsletter to our growing list of Facebook and Twitters followers. And, as the tech world continues to change, most of us are far more connected now than we were five years ago (for better or for worse). Instead of logging on to our desktop or laptop computers at work or home, a majority of people read their emails and surf the internet these days wherever they are, via apps on their mobile devices.
With that in mind, we’ve changed the format of our newsletter for the first time in six years, to a mobile-friendly platform that is hopefully easier to read on your phone and tablet. It’s different, for sure, and some no doubt won’t like it. Change is like that, you know. But at the end of the day, the goal is still the same at Shelby Crossings, whether it’s in our Sunday worship service, in our small groups, in our children’s and youth ministries, or on our website, we want to be real and authentic and clear in our communication. The last thing we would want, of course, would be to fail to communicate.
I count it such a privilege to be able to shepherd such a great church. I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.