If you’re a church leader, I know you’re busy. With so much to do, in fact, who has time left to read or listen to the news every day? Think about, though, these reasons for giving daily attention to the news:
- We need to know the world God loves. In today’s news, for example, I read of Russia, Ukraine, Australia, France, Ethiopia, Germany, and Hong Kong. It’s all God’s world, and He died for all. To know only our part of the world is too self-centric.
- Missionaries live in much of that world. As you read the news, let that news drive you to prayer on behalf of missionaries in those areas. If you suspect missionaries may not be there, ask God to open a door there.
- That world lives among us. Internationals who live beside us, work with us, and attend church with us often know the news of their countries of origin. Our ignorance of those realities is not the best pastoral leadership.
- Others in your church and community are reading the news every day. They can speak intelligently in many circles. When we cannot join them in the conversation because we’ve ignored the news, we limit our ministry opportunities.
- The news moves us outside our local Christian bubble. Read or listen to the news, in fact, and you might realize how cocooned we Christians often are. We’re trying to reach a big, varied world we do not know.
- Even evil people need prayer. It’s easy to read the news and label others as evil. Without ever compromising a call to righteous judgment, however, we are still to love our enemies and pray for them (Luke 6:27-28). Reading the news will challenge you to do so.
- The news provides relevant applications for our teaching. Entire websites offer sermon and teaching illustrations, but those illustrations are often dated or overused. The news can provide contemporary, relevant illustrations—but only if you know what’s happening.
- Paying attention to the news will challenge you to keep learning. Consider into how many areas reading the news will take you, including politics, sports, arts, health, etc. God has given us a brain to use as we do ministry, and reading the news will stretch that brain every day.
- We are reminded of the urgency of the gospel. The news is about people and life, from the weekly birth announcements to the daily death notices. It’s about the effects of human sin, including pride in our accomplishments and depth in our wickedness. It’s about a world that needs Christ.
Read your Bible first every day . . . but then read or listen to the news. You will look at the world differently.
As a Christian leader, what other benefits do you get from paying attention to the news?