Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What Would Jesus Tweet?

Image found on HuffPost
I'm going to steal some words from Leonard Sweet today:  It's not a question of whether Jesus would have tweeted or not.  It's a question of what Jesus would tweet.

You see, Jesus engaged in the community of the day and, I believe, continues to engage.  It's not a question of whether God would use twitter.  God is using Twitter and Facebook and Google...the church may not be, but God is present and active in community and our community is ever-shifting to the internet.

Today we have to ask ourselves a lot of questions about how we are going to communicate as a church.  We seem to think, these days, that the goal is to get our church on the internet and that will be 'good enough.' Maybe a website or a facebook page will get more people to come to us...where the real church is (behind a big stone wall).  No.  Not good enough.  We have to take our experiences of Christ into our online communities if we are to live out our faith authentically.

Do we remind people not just to "like" the church (which, btw, is waaayyy luke-warm) with our bulletin or do we ask people to check-in to show their friends they were at church.  Do we put an informational announcement out on our facebook page or do we RT (re-tweet) the pastor or church friend so that our followers become her or his followers?

What the "Googler" generation has grown up in (and what us older people may never catch onto) is a culture about relationships.  It is not just about what we say, but, just as importantly, how  we say it.  The church needs to delve into the relationship-building connections of the web.  We need to become more social and less institutional...and we need to find authentic ways to share God's love with the people of this world.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A New Church Audience: Online?

Image from flicker:  H Sundholm:  "This door belongs to Torshälla kyrka, i.e. the church in Torshälla, outside of Eskilstuna in Sweden."

The days of "going to" church are nearly over.  No, those days have been over for some time, now.  The days when people looked for their own denomination when they moved into town and came knocking at the doors to get in were lost in the 1960's.  There is a remnant, but the church has failed to respond to everyone else...

Today we have an opportunity to share the experience of faith with remarkable crowds.  Don't believe me?  While I was preparing for and recovering from surgery I blogged.  Over the past 6 weeks my wife and I have averaged 1000 hits per week on that blog.  One of the posts, alone, boasts over 400 hits.  On a Sunday morning I don't preach to crowds that large, sadly.  That means that if we take our faith to the web in dynamic, interactive ways there are untapped ways to share the Gospel.

We don't need to advertise the upcoming rummage sale or fundraiser, we need to authentically share our experience of life and faith.  That is what changes lives.