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Who Do Men Say That I Am?

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

 

Who do men say that I am?

 

That’s the question Jesus asked His disciples one day.

 

I wonder why did he asked.  Maybe he was wanting to know how effective he was or how well his message was being received.

 

I recently heard that IHOP, (International House of Pancakes) had gone through a name change.  It used to be a family tradition that after church, we went to IHOP.  Back then it wasn’t called IHOP, it was called the International House of Pancakes.  And it was not a place you would go for burgers.  It was a place for breakfast, particularly pancakes. 

 

Now, in order to promote their lineup of burgers and to persuade the public that they were not only about pancakes, they inverted the P to a b; thus, IHOb. The b stands for burgers.

 

It was big news, but it was fake news.  It turns out it was just a publicity stunt to promote their burgers, and it worked!  It made the news, but now they are once again (or still are) IHOP. 

 

Jesus must have been stunned when the disciples answered his question about who people were saying that he was.  It seems the message was mixed.  Some said he was John the Baptist, others said Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.  If that’s what people believed, it was fake news.  He is the Christ, the Messiah.  There was an issue with brand messaging.

 

For the past few years, our ministry has been going through a transition.  In addition to new leadership, we have recognized the need for new brand messaging and new methodology.  The end result of this transition will be a new corporate structure that will move us to a simple and modern process made possible through digital technology.  What that means for all of our clients is that it will save you time and money.  Who doesn’t love that?

 

Greater Than Gold is the name of the new corporation that will be responsible to continue the vision and mission of Global Youth Evangelism.  Back in the formative years of GYE, it truly was a ministry of reaching and discipling youth.  I was even one of the youthful converts who was discipled, trained and equipped for the work of the ministry.  But over the years, the ministry has migrated to be exclusively an organization that distributes Bible studies.

 

Using modern technology we can become more effective in our mission of distribution of study materials to those who hunger world wide with a push of a button.  The four P model of paper, printing, packaging and postage is inefficient and ineffective.  The new model of one P, the push of a button, will enable our partners to access the materials instantaneously.

 

It may not seem like much of a challenge to continue to print and ship to those of you in the mainland United States, and you are right, but consider that these studies are used globally.  Historically, these studies have been distributed in more than 70 countries in nearly 20 languages.  Try to ship Bible studies to my friend Pastor Jeannie Thompson, who is a missionary in Thailand, or to any number of third world countries, and it will likely be an epic fail.  Consider the many prison Chaplains who faithfully take the studies into jails and have to pay for postage and then have to painstakingly remove the staples from every single booklet.  No more!  Now they can download them on command and print them staple free.

 

From time to time our ministries must ask the question of ourselves; “who do people say that I am?”  It is a matter of marketplace evaluation and stewardship, and it was time to ask ourselves that question.

 

The answer that Jesus heard caused him to change his message.  From that moment forward, we no longer read of popularity, crowds and miracles.  We read of his new message: suffering, death and resurrection. 

 

Mathew 16: 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

 

A new brand message doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a brand new message.  It could just simply be that there is a better way for the message to be sent and received.

 

Have a Greater Than Gold day,


Pastor Michael Farias,

President, Greater Than Gold and Global Youth Evangelism