So what is a selfie? There are two forms of Selfies, the first is when the camera is at arms length and the telegenic character is yourself and whoever might be with you. The other form of a selfie is when you need for whatever reason both hands free for the photograph and the camera is on a 10 second timer or someone else clicks the selfie for you.
The first is the most common selfie. They get published or republished in the media, particularly online such as Facebook and social media. They might be taken any where and at any time. They are not planned, but in a moment of inspiration the selfie photographer exclaims something along the lines of: lets take a selfie …..
It is smiles all round. No time to get that piece of spinach out between your teeth, no time to chase that pesky fly, or to glance at something that for an instant draws your attention away from the camera lens – as sure as night follows day, that's when the camera will click.
It's often a spur of the moment thing. Someone might say something akin to, look there's Aunt Mable, whose 85 given a day, and bango, Aunt Mable finds herself up close and personal with great great niece Amber (whatever name) to a digital thing-a-ma-jig and told to smile.
Or it might be something else entirely, something sort-of-planned where the selfie might be at, say, the Kiama blow-hole and the face/s are directly in front - just as the ocean spray comes up and raises to the heavens. It is a magnificent photograph where its praises are sung into the aeons of family mores.
Airports are favourite places for Selfies
A different kind of selfie
There is now a different kind of selfie coming to light and these range from a host of possibilities. This recent Sydney Morning Herald article by Nicole Elphick cites a number of these from selfies with babies, the homeless, activism, the arts and a whole host more, including what is termed 'after-sex' selfies – all covered, no porn here please, with a mix of contemplation, contentment, naughtiness …... nonetheless dangerous as such selfies might in all reality come back to haunt those in these poses at some time. (www.dailylife.com.au)
But as I pondered on this new diversity of selfies I wondered how might creative evangelism get involved in selfies.
Here are some ideas for the cooker:
Core 101 – personal evangelism
A selfie with an empty cross
A selfie with a child in prayer
A selfie with an open bible
A selfie with bible in hand preaching
Core 102 – church evangelism
A selfie in the church kitchen
A selfie welcoming people into church
A selfie with the Communion bread/wine
A selfie with the choir
Core 103 - missionary evangelism
A selfie with a grass hut
A selfie with a rice paddy
A selfie with an open air church
A selfie with painted men with spears
These might be termed 'traditional type' of evangelism selfies but let us now get some lateral thinking and ponder on some others types of selfies -
Selfies can be anywhere even road works
Selfies with a range of reflective / philosophical art works that speak to its viewers in a wide variety of ways.
Selfies with challenging bible verses that most of the time we prefer not to think about.
Selfies with a few words from great theological thinkers that ensures we might at least consider a philosophic journey.
Selfies with classical historical images that demand our re-evaluation.
These are the selfies of evangelism where the responder will never again be the same person - they have been presented with an image and a message, something akin to the light on a hill.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html