The mission of the Christian church is based on the two greatest commandments:  love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

As you love yourself.  Love of self is not commanded but assumed.  It is where we start, but it had better not be where we end.
The call of the gospel is to love the One beyond ourselves Who is worthy of our love and adoration:  the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Coming to faith in the Father through Jesus is a personal commitment of the heart.  Each individual responds to God’s invitation in the gospel.  No one can believe for you.

Some Christians think the mission of the church is complete once you get people to believe the message of Jesus.  But Jesus said there is a second commandment that Jesus closely related to the first:  love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Connection with God generates connection with people, and most especially, connection with others who worship God.  The apostle John told his churches:  “…that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you so that you too may have fellowship with us…” (1 John 1.3).

The second part of the Christian mission is to bring followers of Christ together into an organized community – a town full of neighborhoods, as it were – to share life together, to build our families and our friendships, to build common bonds and memories, to foster the faith and lifestyle built on the truth rather than the world’s deceitful and empty illusions.

I grew up in a low-tech world where we built those connections face-to-face:  going to each other’s homes, sharing meals, discussing truth and life together, and praying together.
But history seems to be speeding forward into a rather different world of high-tech connection through screens:  social media, smartphones, texts, and apps.

Our conservative knee-jerk reaction is to find the evils of new things and call people to avoid them.  We are usually not wrong about the evils that we see.  We are wrong to believe that a few evils make the thing in itself entirely evil.
Every new technology brings troublesome evils and great blessings, advantages, and conveniences.  If a technology brings great good, people don’t abandon it.  They build on it and improve on it.  They try to bring it into submission for uses that are beneficial.
We need to do the same in the service of the gospel.

I turn 62 this week.  I have some useful years left in me, but I grow evermore aware of the brevity of my own life and the limits of my reach.  The world that is coming will keep coming.  We can’t turn the clock back.  We must walk forward into it, taking advantage of its benefits and minimizing the effects of its evils.  We must use it to bring people to Christ and to be that “connected body.”

That world of screens is moving beyond my grasp,
but it’s well within the eternal Father’s grasp.