REPORT AND EDUCATE

Report seems obvious - if you can get reports. Reporting on the life and work must have a purpose. The purpose is to advertise what is occurring and also to attract new people. The educate part may be a result of an unusual cause. First, one person uncertain as to the meaning of a word commonly used or a concept in a sermon suggests there may well be others are uncertain. An article on any word/concept has been appreciated by readers. A newsletter article can get round the admitting ignorance in a gentle way. Second, most churches have study or fellowship groups who explore scripture. The number attending such groups tend to be small. A newsletter article 'explaining' the scripture the group have been exploring and ending with 'what has this to do with us today' adds to the understanding and life of the congregation. Yes, you need to have authosr. But, no, it does not have to be a clergyman. Use the resources in your fellowship. There are people in all our fellowships who are keeping their lights under bushells. Let them shine! (Why not start with where you can find 'light under bushell' and what it means for us today?)
This comment is a reinforcement of the 'educate' element possible through a newsletter. Two examples. (1) You would think that the title 'prophet' would be understood. A long standing member of a congregation posed the questions 'What is a prophet?' and 'Did the prophets end with those mentioned in the Bible?' Now you would think that the answers were obvious but it was surprising how many people appreciated a newsletter piece on prophets - the fifteen associated with writtten collections like, Isaiah and Malachi - and prophesies from yesterday to today. (2) The events surrounding the crucifixtion of Jesus as described in Matthew 17 are so familiar but the question was asked 'What do the extraordinary events - the darkness, Temple veil, earthquake and tombs broken open, a centirion's response - have to do with us today?' It could be said that an explanation should be given from pulpits. But the question was being asked by somebody who had spent a lifetime listening to preachers and Bible reading and there were still an unanswered questions. The newsletter is a channel for 'education' and should be employed. So don't limit newsletters to just reports. Let's use newsletters to tell the story. Reading is in fact more effective than listening.