Engaging Culture

Terrorism, the Media, and the Online Battle for Hearts and Minds

Whenever I hear about church and ministry leaders who refuse to engage today’s culture through digital, online platforms, I’m reminded of speaking at a media conference last year in Madrid. It was a gathering of “media missionaries” who are using the media in innovative ways to share the Christian faith throughout Europe and the Middle East. One of the producers quoted Gilles Kepel, a French academic and expert on Islam from an interview with Arab World Media as far back as 2004:

“The battle for Muslim minds is not being fought by radicals in Falluja or in the mosques. It is being fought on the Net.”

It’s obvious from this quote and further documentation that Muslim extremists understand the power and influence of the Internet and are focusing enormous effort in that direction.

The question is – how can we make more pastors and Christian leaders understand just how urgent this challenge is?

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  1. Leadership is often mistaken with titles or position, which is more like a boss or manager. People follow vision and those who have the courage to take risks. So focus on the leaders who get it and invest in them. With every new initiative, buy in starts with a few. Managers wait to see if its’ safe, acceptable, popular or good for their career. The Real leaders are already doing it!!! Ten years from now, after something more amazing comes along, the managers will be thinking they are real trailblazers because they finally started a blog or Twitter account. Where the leaders will be fully engaged in the Now!!!

  2. “Our battle is not against flesh and blood”, I think I read that somewhere. Including the Muslim’s. I mean after all they serve the same God christians do. I think the only difference is they actually believe what they preach. I don’t mean to turn this into who’s right and wrong here but anytime we attack people of any creed, color, or religion we are attacking the very son’s and daughters made in HIS image. The question I would ask is what can We and when I say we I mean “me” can do to engage with people in LOVE on the net. It is a powerful tool that can be used to spread a lot of different messages the problem is it takes the personal touch out of the message. Sometimes when i see things posted online especially by extreme Christians i just want to scream and say that is not what the Messiah said I may add a cuss word or two sometimes. Sorry if I went on a rant love your blog Phil… don’t block me.

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