During the last century changes in technology have brought about profound changes in how most people in the world live. During the last half century the digital revolution has changed how people relate, even in their marriages.
Two Millennia Ago
- When Paul and Barnabas first served as cross-cultural missionaries, people had a more limited number of ways to communicate as mentioned in Acts 15. • They could go in person and talk face to face so that both verbal and nonverbal cues were available (Acts 15: 4).
- They could tell another individual who would then go and repeat what was to be communicated (Acts 15:2). Adding that middle person could result in the message being changed.
- They could write a letter for someone to carry to the recipients (Acts 15:20). This meant that no additional clarification could help remove misunderstandings.
- They could use combinations of the above (Acts 15:22-31). These examples are all found in communication between the first and second terms of missionary service. Most of the New Testament epistles are letters written to relatively young national churches or missionary pastors of these churches. These letters were written by veteran missionaries or church leaders at headquarters in Jerusalem. The letters include advice, warnings, and greetings to individuals at the church plants.