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Blockbuster, K-Mart, and CDs are a few of the things that stopped moving forward in the rapidly changing mainstream. You can add many used to be valuable items, ideas, and organizations to this list. This principle is hard for some folks to grasp. There is something in us that likes how things have always been, which does not apply to the unchangeable gospel.
Paul had strong language for anyone who tinkers with the gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). Changing the gospel and methodologies that present the gospel are different things. We must learn the lesson of Guttenberg: he changed the world with the movable type machine. Johann Guttenberg did not compromise the gospel, but his invention maximized the expanse of the gospel profoundly.
Some Christians conflate these two things. There is a fear of changing methodologies. They see the moral decline of the culture and do not want to change into what they see. They are correct. They don’t understand that changing ways to impact the culture does not alter the gospel but gives you a better chance to connect that old gospel to a modern culture that will receive it in ways they understand.
Changing is useful if the change does not compromise the gospel while positioning you with a more robust platform and a more unmistakable voice to proclaim it. This perspective of changing a ministry for the greater good of the gospel is a recurring theme. There is never a day that passes where I’m not thinking about doing what we do more effectively.
As an organization, we want to be where the people are, relating to them in the ways they understand, so we can present Christ the right way, hoping for the magnification of Him in their lives to experience the transformation that He offers. Christ was like this to His culture. Interestingly, He was so relatable that some folks could not distinguish Him from everyone else (Matthew 26:48)—until He started talking, of course (John 7:46).
Christ’s ability to relate to His culture without compromising His message stood on two pillars: He was relevant to the culture, but He brought a radically different message to the culture. If you can do this, you will position yourself in the mainstream with a powerful, transformative, and God-glorifying—different—message.
In our world, we focus on how to bring the practical message of Christ to the world through cyberspace. We are an Internet ministry. We do not carry the practical gospel to the culture from a 1995 platform. For example, in the mid-nineties, blogs were new but not that relevant. Today, if you do not have a website, you’ve lost some relevancy and numerical impact.
In 2007, Steve Jobs gave us the mobile phone, and culture moved en masse to this new way of connecting. Seventy percent of the folks who come to our ministry do so through a mobile phone. Twenty percent use desktops, while the rest use tablets. Today, everything moves at the speed of the Internet and redefines itself with endless iterations of technology.
It would blow Guttenberg’s mind to realize what Steve Jobs did with that old moveable typing machine. The question for you and me to wrestle with is how we can take the modern means of grace available to us and use them in redemptive ways to reach people worldwide with the gospel of Christ. Every Christian should live with this worldview in mind—even if “worldwide” only goes to your county line.
I started thinking about these things in 2008. God had given me an extraordinary life, as He has done for you, too. He also permitted me to run down the biblical counseling lane. My job was to discern how to merge those two things for His fame, my purpose, and the benefit of others. Because I live in the Internet age, my thoughts shifted to the redemptive use of technology. It went this way.
In 2008, articles were king. Virtually everyone preferred reading their online resources. Thus, I wrote one article every day, seven days a week, for two years. I then dropped back to five articles a week. Since 2015, I have been publishing three articles a week.
In 2015, podcasting was mainstream in the culture, though new to most Christians. The Christian culture is, generally speaking, a decade or two behind the culture on certain things. That year and the next, I started two podcast networks: Your Daily Drive and Life Over Coffee.
In 2017, I began thinking more about the third leg of our resource presentation, the video space. I had been producing videos all along but was not fully engaged with the medium due to time, cost, and expertise. When COVID hit full throttle in March 2020, we took the plunge since our family—and yours—was sheltering in place. We have produced over 120 videos in seven months.
We currently have a massive library of articles and more than 1,200 podcasts on all things that pertain to life and godliness. We have active forums where we can interact with our community. My point is that we have filled our big box cyberstore in cyberspace to the brim with resources. Thus, it’s time for another redefinition.
Effective immediately, I am pulling back from writing three articles and producing three Your Daily Drive podcasts a week. My new goal is to produce at least one each Thursday, with our Life Over Coffee podcast dropping each Monday. This change will free me up to do several things that need my attention.
Now that we have a massive resource library, we have the materials to give folks who come to us for help. Rather than expanding our treasure trove with the same types—articles and podcasts, we hope to expand the resources options:
By writing fewer articles and podcasts, it will release me to serve in more effective ways. We will be able to shore up the other resource weaknesses, which will give our friends more options.
When we moved our articles from behind the paywall, we lost 200 supporters. They said, “Now that it’s free, there is no need to pay to read.” I understand the perspective and agree—in the sense that I like free stuff, too. Our hope was for that other remnant who understands the broader mission: reaching as many families as possible with Christ’s practical message.
I know we have rock-solid, biblical material. I have seen the impact on hundreds of lives. It has been my passion to release our resources to as many people as possible without restriction. But we could not do that without those folks who believed in our material and had the means and desire to help us. We do not have all that we need to do what we’re doing, but we’re asking God to bring those folks to help us as we take this remarkable step.
Our world is a mess, and I cannot sit back without speaking into it. People are hurting and in search of help like never before. We have the technological means to enter into their homes and present material that can transform their lives. That’s my pitch and passion. If you can help us in any way, let us know. These are crazy exciting times with seemingly unlimited opportunities to help a lot of folks with the unchanging gospel.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).