Express the attributes of Jesus through media
Research shows that Christianity has a negative appeal with the media audience, whereas Jesus has a positive appeal. How can the attributes of Jesus be shown through media in relevant ways where His attributes can be tied to things happening in the local communities and provide a way for Christians to “live out” these attributes in relevant ways?
This broad challenge could have a number of diverse approaches. The desired first-level output of this challenge is a strategy that frames an approach (Who is the target audience? What qualifies as an “attribute of Jesus?” What type of media is addressed? What type of local response is targeted?) Approaches could be technical, social, collaborative, or any other, working on existing platforms or developing new ones.
Once you have developed an approach and strategy, the next-level output for this challenge would be a tool, process or platform that enabled and implemented the strategy. Solutions that are tested and demonstrated in alternate countries, languages or contexts are highly encouraged.
As one example of background context, we recommend this article “Christians, Their Media Portrayal & Myth” with the analysis of Ira Glass’ statement about Christians in the media. This is only one (western) perspective and is not meant to define or restrain your approach to the challenge. It does, however, lay out a number of pertinent questions to help frame the conversation.
“There are two tendencies among Christians when confronted with someone who disagrees with their beliefs. One of them is to defend the faith by pushing back against accusations. The other is to defuse tension by apologizing for for perceived wrongs. And, the truth is, there is value in both of these actions—but is there a way to do both?
Often times, the line between defending your beliefs and apologizing for your fellow believers can simply be found by living your faith. The reason the media finds so many bad stories about Christians is because these tendencies—to defend our faith or apologize for other believers—both lend themselves to negative perception.
By doing what the Christians in Glass’ life did—maintaining a nuanced and steadfast worldview, but also living a life of kindness to people of all beliefs—we can tell stories that are different than the headlines.”
For your thinking:
How is Christianity depicted in the media in your context?
Why? Is that representation fair?
How do we see people “not just for what they profess to believe but instead by the stories their lives represent?”
How do we move people to response or connection based on these stories?
This challenge invites you to find those “small stories” that represent Jesus, instead of social and cultural generalizations about Christians.
Data, APIs or Resources
Some background resources:
The Secret to Upworthy (this article explores the whole cycle of the positive media and response process)
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