Jess and Phil looked at each other, and then at me.

“So,” Jess asked after a moment of silence, “what is the headline news?”

Not many people ask Jess’s question: “What is the headline news?” or even “What is the gospel?” In fact, I had never asked either question myself. I assumed I knew the answer.

I was part of the church. I was studying Scripture. I thought I knew it all. But when I talked to people outside the Christian bubble, people who didn’t believe or who were searching for a deeper spirituality, I hit a brick wall every time. It was as if I had a weak cell-phone signal and static was chopping up my words. Does that sound familiar to you? That’s what Jess and Phil were experiencing with Marty.

When you hit so many brick walls, eventually you’ve got to question whether you truly understand the message yourself — or whether you really know how to communicate it. When I found myself hitting brick walls, I started a search to understand what was going on. I read. I talked to people. I listened. This book contains the results of my search.

Maybe you’re on the same journey I’ve been on. You know something isn’t working, but you’re not quite sure what. I invite you to see what I’ve learned. On the other hand, maybe you’re on a much different journey than I am. Maybe you’re burned out by church. Or maybe you’ve experienced a lot of static when you’ve talked about God or spirituality with other people. Maybe you’re searching for something, but you’re not sure what. I hope that some of the lessons I’ve learned on my journey will help you see more clearly what you’re ultimately searching for in life.

Excerpted from Static: Tune Out the “Christian Noise” and Experience the Real Message of Jesus, copyright 2007 by Ron Martoia. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Ill., Used with permission.
Ron Martoia is an author, speaker, and former pastor. His passion is helping people, and the organisms they serve, design, build and experience revolutionary change. Over the last two years Ron has spoken to more than 25,000 leaders in conference settings. His area of expertise is on the new and shifting landscape of church/cultural intersection, where he helps churches consider how they can shift their theological outlook which in turn will shift and adjust their ministry trajectory and cultural interface. Through his speaking, consulting, writing, and acting as "a distant staff member" to a number of churches, Ron is using his cultural intonation to help churches shift paradigms from the old Newtonian world to the Quantum world of the 21st century context.