My friend Kyle Chowning has a humorous blog post today about the importance of context in communication. It immediately reminded me of a quote by marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk from a few years ago: “If content is king, then context is God.”
I wrote about Vaynerchuk’s proclamation in a January 2012 blog post on participatory church. At the time, Vaynerchuk had said, “The word that is the single most important word … period. The word for the next decade: Context.” And then added, “We are living in a context war right now.”Here’s what I wrote in response to Vaynerchuk at the time:
“What does he mean by ‘context war’? I suspect he means that with the massive volume of content being generated online, the battle is to break through the noise and capture people’s imaginations, and to do that involves understanding and engaging people in their context, getting really personal, hitting them where they live (so to speak). And, as I’m sure Gary V. would add, actually caring.
“The missional shift in Christianity is also all about context and translating the Gospel message into flesh and bones and hands and feet out in the community (incarnational). And this is very location-specific, down to your street and your neighborhood …”
Are you really, truly caring and getting one-on-one personal with the gospel of the kingdom? If not, you’re just adding to the noise.