WHAT: This is not about showing off new fashions or walking the catwalk! But it is about demonstrating how things might, could, or should be… Not just talking about them! For example, forgiveness is better lived out – or acted out – rather than just being talked about.
WHY: Very often people need to see or feel things rather than just hear the theory. Words are cheap – especially among competing ideologies. Modelling by example is the way to go. The old song “They will know we are Christians, by our love, by our love…” still rings in the memories of youth from the past…but those words still speak to us today as a forcible reminder of what is expected of Jesus’ followers.
HOW: New media especially reduce the boundaries and enable people to interact together without reference to their differences. However, with more traditional media such as radio it has not been so easy to make this happen.
In community development it often pays to have a known celebrity talking on air about what he has learned to do – or what new habits he has cultivated. He (or she) models to those who idolise them what is good practice. Ordinary villagers can do the same, sometimes working together with people with different religious beliefs. It says loud and clear “yes, it can be done!”
At the church level local Christians from various congregations might discuss together on air what Jesus means to them, thus emphasising and reinforcing their unity in the Gospel, even though they represent different denominations.
BIBLICAL BASIS: Jesus once said “By their fruits you will know them”. It was part of his great manifesto – the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 7: 16, 20). Jesus’ Gospel of the Kingdom introduced the setting up of God’s new order and his followers are intended to model that new order by putting Kingdom principles into daily practice.
EXAMPLES: Tell us about your examples of modelling by example… and how it is making an impact.