Thursday, January 17, 2013

I hate the phone

I hate using the phone.

Okay, so hate is too strong a word. But many of you know exactly what I mean. It just seems so impersonal. I'd much rather talk with someone face to face. There are a lot of visual cues you simply can't get using the phone. Besides, most people these days have cell phones, which results in increased call latency, dropped calls and, perhaps worst of all, speakerphone!

Like I said... I hate using the phone.

But maybe you're different. Perhaps you don't mind the phone, but you hate email. Your inbox easily gets out of control, you lose track of emails donors have sent, you worry about being misinterpreted because email lacks tone of voice, etc.

Or maybe you don't like Facebook. It's almost all pictures of babies, political memes and ad-saturated kids' games anyway.

Or it could be that you're fine with all things digital, but writing thank-you notes takes FOR-E-VER. Why can't all your donors simply join Facebook so you can thank them that way?

Now, there's nothing wrong with having preferences about communication methods. Even strong preferences are fine. But we trip up when we're unwilling to lay down those preferences...
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV)
I hate using the phone, but many of my donors love when I call. I personally enjoy using email, but some of my donors don't. I don't do a whole lot with Facebook, but if I can spend 10 minutes reading over a donor's timeline so I know how to better encourage and pray for them, that's time well spent.

Why should we lay down our preferences like that? Because Jesus loved us even though He didn't have to (and in fact had good reason not to.) He was perfectly happy spending eternity with the Father and Spirit before we came along. When we did arrive on the scene, it wasn't very long before we messed everything up. Yet did Jesus hold back any of His preferences or display any selfishness in His dealings with us? "Though He was in the form of God, [He] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself." (Philippians 2:6-7 ESV)

Be encouraged! Those verses mean that every time you go outside your comfort zone in an email and every time I pick up the phone to call someone, we are modeling Christ to them - whether they know it or not. And even if they don't know it, Jesus does. (Matthew 25:40, Luke 6:35)

I still hate the phone, but I use it to love my donors because Jesus loved me far more.

That's worth a phone call, I think.