Pokemon Go is making headlines right next to the Turkey Coup. And like every trending thing that has to do with technology, Pokemon Go split the social media group into two parties: Happy Pokemon hunters and scathing, angry anti-Pokemon people.
Part of my requirements as an appointee was to read each chapter of Wayne Grudem’s, Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know and relate it back to someone else.
Many thanks to Pastor Dave Droste of Solid Rock Christian Fellowship for volunteering to talk over each chapter with me. I enjoyed the back and forth conversations, and even got a course correction in my own theology. It’s so easy to think you understand something in the Bible and realize you’ve misunderstood its meaning for years.
Maybe that’s why, besides free or affordable education, I have started a database of logging full scholarship opportunities I find as I seek to find affordable options to getting a degree in Biblical Studies. Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know simplified the Christian belief system for me.
I bought the paper version so I can mark it up and dog-ear it for future reference. In conversations online, you have the generosity of time. Online conversations don’t have to be replied to right away like face-to-face conversations. I can have a browser open to research questions I lack answers to, and even this book next to me to refer to my highlights and notes. Because online is about community, what Christian Beliefs said on page 91 resonated with me:
“Not all gospel calls are effective. The job of believers is to explain the gospel message; it is God’s job to make that message call effective.”
Grudem uses Acts 16:14 to explain:
“The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”
Acts 16:14 was talking about Lydia, the seller of purple:
“A seller of purple – Purple was a most valuable color, obtained usually from shellfish. It was chiefly worn by princes and by the rich, and the traffic in it might be very profitable. Compare the Isaiah 1:18 note; Luke 16:19 note. (from here)“
This section was a reminder to me to make prayer a priority in my life. Without prayer, I discovered the gospel call is empty. It can so easily become about us as the savior instead of Jesus as the Savior. In Perspectives, I learned God prepares the people’s hearts for the missionaries to come and harvest by putting into place bridges in that people’s culture and history for God’s people to point out and draw them to Himself. It reminds me daily I have no power, but Jesus.
In this ministry of online work, I get to disciple people, and for me to do so effectively, I must continually educate myself in the Bible, make prayer a priority, and honor a “flexible Sabbath.”
My vision is to mobilize the church to get online for discipleship and prayer and to bring the community online into a fellowship of faith through community and service. I believe social media is a positive force if used well, and a balance between the online world and the face-to-face world is important for our development as humans.
People are shorter on patience and quicker to resentment and anger to the point of retaliation. The post on a public Facebook group was just that: an angry man who resented someone for parking crookedly and wanted to zip tie a shopping cart to their door.
He compared it to causes such as women’s rights or civil rights. It wasn’t a joke. His language and overall attitude were serious. Most people would have ignored the post (or reported him to the police), but I used social media to try to bridge the gap and find out what was really wrong. Instead of using social media to be negative, I tried to be compassionate. This is what social networking should resemble.
Businesses, non-profits, and even churches use social networking mostly as a way to market their brand or vision. As a writer, I (and others) recognized how short-sighted Christians were in this field. When our focus is only on the brand, we forget the people.
In a business article recently, I read about how customers want a relationship with the business through social networking. The catch phrase is, relationship. As Christians, we have a large presence online, but its overall impression is that each church or non-profit is separate and competing rather than an impression of unity in Christ.
I know what goes on behind the scenes. There’s more unity than most people understand. People believe impressions. That’s why reputations online are shredded in minutes when a video goes viral that doesn’t tell the whole story. Or when people bad mouth their church, it joins with other voices bad mouthing church, creating another impression.
How we respond online makes a difference, but not everyone will be satisfied. Even if you are polite and kind, non-believers still think Christians are “yes” people. Love means something different to the secular group. If we don’t give in to everything, we aren’t “loving” enough.
Most people wouldn’t do, out of love, what Jesus did for us. He knew when to turn the cheek and when to speak the truth. God help us as we navigate this world.
My only regret in the above mentioned conversation is that the post was quickly deleted. I had hoped the angry man would have seen my request for him to email me. Maybe we could have gone deeper into what was really wrong.
Social Media Tip: Look for a Facebook group for your town or city or neighborhood. Join it. It’s the modern version of neighborhood get-togethers.
One of my challenges in this transitional part of my life is to practice a “flexible Sabbath.” Most people work five days a week. They have two days off with their spouse or family. I work 36-hours a week, Monday through Thursday. This leaves Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to raise financial partners and work the ministry under my stewardship. My husband and I share only one day off together because of his schedule. With all this going on, two people challenged me to take my Sabbath seriously.
Afterall, God took one day off.
In a sermon by Pastor Dave Droste, I realized I was giving 80% instead of a 100% due to so much happening in my life. I am far from burned out and far from exhausted. Energy and creativity course through me like lava from a tube; impatient, eager, and wanting to live, bursting from the dead earth in color and heat. I can’t live at that speed and so I decided to practice this spiritual discipline for longevity.
By practicing a flexible Sabbath, I take, for instance a Sunday off around appointments that are unavoidable. This weekend, I plan on taking part of Sunday off and a few hours on Saturday morning off from missionary work and financial partnership work. I know this is healthy. Slowing down a little will challenge me to be more creative in how I get everything done. Instead of taking some evenings during the week off, I use that time to get some blogging finished.
The purpose of this tour is to: 1) Pray for the churches I visit to reach the different people groups in their area. 2) Connect people who have no church with the different churches in the Phoenix area through social media interaction and sharing of visuals. 3) Pray the church or its individuals choose to financially partner with me.
The ministry I work cannot be done by one person, but through partnership with WorldVenture. The internet is the new mission field. We’ve always known it, but we’ve been slacking on doing something about it. Help me help others realize the vision!
This is a private event, but I am excited to say about ten people will be praying for every church I visit on July 29.
When a friend started sharing with me an idea about a women’s ministry that is impulsive and creative, I jumped in. Of course, I volunteered to help with communications. We set up a Slack account because it is secure. When I sat down with other women in the group, I was encouraged by their response to having an online community.
Slack is different than texting. When you send a group text, and a person responds, every person on that text gets continual notification for hours or as long as the conversation endures. It takes more time to open a new text and rewrite a response or to share the activity you shared with others on a new text. Slack cuts out all the work.
You can have it on your phone and treat it like a text, or you can use it on your desktop and get notifications there. This kind of community is what every busy woman needs so they can experience good fellowship even if they can’t make every activity.
So if you live in the quad-city area, email me. If you have questions with how this works, I would be happy to explain it (if your intentions were to start a similar kind of group in your town). It’s ideal as a para-church ministry.
Raising support makes life crazy. My last post today posted without anything in the body of the post. This reminded me that I failed to get online today to update the latest in the Wilderness Trekking Series.
This was created using a tablet, a smart phone, and the woman’s own smart phone as mine ran out of room. For the next series, I have ordered a camcorder with a 32 Gigabyte memory card. It’s a cheap camcorder as I have not raised the support yet to run full time ministry. On a church secretary’s salary, I am barely supporting my websites as it is through God’s generosity.
So be praying me to 100% support by March, 2017.
This video was created at my job a year or so ago. I asked a sincere question on a Facebook group that was created for the community in which I live. The hardest part was staying objective through the research process. The end result was a fantastic video that I sometimes still use today when helping a church design a personalized online ministry. The other result was seeing the responses from people. If I was not making a video, I would have participated in a discussion with them. Please enjoy the video.
“Blogging and tweeting might be among the last hobbies you’d list for a homeless person, but some down-and-out people have embraced social media in such a way that it’s actually garnered them needed assistance — everything from food and diapers for children to counseling and housing.
“I did not believe in social networking before I ended up on the streets,” says Rd Plasschaert, who became homeless last year. “It’s the way people are finding housing. It’s the way people are finding food banks.” – READ MORE
And if the homeless are online, what are you and I doing to connect with them via our own Twitter accounts? Share your stories in the comments. We need Social Media Mentors. Check out Cataclysm Missions Intl LLC.
I work here when I am not behind my desk at Solid Rock Christian Fellowship in Prescott, Arizona working 36-hours a week. Behind me is a coffee pot and to my right is a sliding glass door to my backyard. On Fridays, it’s quiet in the neighborhood. I love Fridays. I get to start my online work that I lightly do Monday through Thursday.
Why do I love this work online?
I get to minister to people within and outside of my community all over the globe at the tap of a few keys. It’s not light work. No way would I ever call it, “playing.” Social media is ministry and missions. It is investing in people’s lives and helping them through practical and spiritual means. That means, helping them find a church home, be that person to talk to when they feel isolated, and praying for them. It also takes on many different forms.
It’s using every form of communication, like pictures, to make long-term connections with someone online. A conversation you experience in face-to-face happens online, too. It’s a community. It’s not just mentoring, but managing three websites, many social media profiles, and the volunteers associated with each website. It’s heightened creativity. There is no end to the possibilities on how something you create can be used in God’s Kingdom.
Now back to work…