“With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.” Mark 4:33-34
If you have been in church your whole life (like I have) or really for any number of years, chances are you’ve heard a controversy about the methodology of presenting the Gospel.
Some want to keep it “traditional,” in a style they’re accustomed to. Others want to change to fit every fad that comes down the pike. In reality, neither is necessarily correct.
Just like companies such as Coca-Cola don’t use the same advertisements they used 20, 30, or more years ago to sell their product to a changing world, neither should we use the same methods used half a century ago to reach a world which has changed in immeasurable ways. The aim is still the same in both cases – moving Cokes off store shelves, or getting the unsaved into a right relationship with God – but the way it’s accomplished must sometimes be adjusted.
Even Jesus understood this, as the Bible tells us that He tailored His message to the maturity level and life experiences. He was telling the same story – His story – in different ways to different groups of people. Once He was alone with those who had already accepted His word, He would explain in greater detail.
The next time you hear someone talk about using new, different ways to present the Gospel message, take a step back before you start criticizing. So long as the message is unchanged, it might be time to use a new net to catch those fish!