Pastors in Social Media Space @larryhol @jesserice #smchurch #wiredchurch


In a previous post,  @larryhol commented,  and since comments on my blog do not get out to the twitter stream, I thought this should be.  (That would be a good addition/tweak to the WP plugin that tweets the posts:   creating a tweet to the comment,  and if the comment has used the twitter login to my blog,  tweet it as “in reply to” the tweet that was generated by the blog post.  )

larryhol- 

Dale,
This is a key issue. You’re asking the “right” question, I think. And I have been wondering how online community can affect us emotionally and psychologically, in ways that are also important in face to face relationships. What does connection mean online in a deeper definition than point to point communication. What is interpersonal connection is made? And if I’m needing emotional support can it happen meaningfully online? And does online lead to face to face, especially in a world that’s isolating and anonymous?

These are some of the thoughts your question leads me to think about.

Me:

Larry,

Thanks for your comments. I think that this highlights the need for a discerning what we are doing online, for the sake of those we claim to be serving by being there. If we simply just “jump in” and “get on Facebook” or “on Twitter”, we do not give proper attention to the channel and its possible implications on human interaction, and on individual persons. There is, for me, a very palpable sense that the church often does all this to show its “coolness” and “relevance” rather than out of an authentic desire to listen. And this has often been born out as I “show up” in a ftf church setting. The energy in amny cases seems to moving out of the social context in which we move about and relate ftf, and into a world of “always connected”; the “hyperconnectivity” that Jesse Rice observes in his book “The Church of Facebook”.

IMHO, the church needs to be about getting with the program of paying much better attention to socio/psychological implications of online interaction and challenge the blanket adoption of everything “social media”, not in order to reject it, but to better utilize it, and be “pastors” in that space.

from comments on http://wp.theoblogical.org/?p=5619

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About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

3 Replies to “Pastors in Social Media Space @larryhol @jesserice #smchurch #wiredchurch”

  1. Matt Carlisle

    As Christians we are charged to use all gifts bestowed to make disciples.

    There are a handful of churches already embracing the online campus model. And they are seeing success. The goal isn’t to drive people away from face-to-face relationships, but to enhance an individual’s spiritual relationship with Christ.

    If the mainline Church continues to debate the “if” and “shoulds” the opportunity will pass to connect with a new generation of seekers.

    1. Theoblogical Post author

      Matt,

      I hope you didn’t hear me saying “if” or “should”. My stance would be more like “how” or discerning of the how; just like we don’t ask WHETHER we should be be involved in mission; it’s not IF but discerning the WHAT and the HOW. We need to be concerned with keeping aware of the sociological/spiritual impact/implications of online community. I believe there is a problem with HYPERCONNECTIVITY as Jesse Rice says. To the extent that this keeps us from being fully present in our ftf interactions and worship (ISTM it is even more important to watch ourselves carefully re: the latter), we need to be concerned with finding the proper balance.

      1. Jeremy Hoover

        I see your point, Dale, and I agree. I see two polarities: one on side, there is too much fear and attempts to be “in” or “cool” with new technology. On the other side, the early adopters of the church, imo, embrace technological innovations but without a theological, missiological, or Christological foundation/goal. For example, being on Twitter is nice and all–but how are we reaching people? Is throwing out a tweet about a theological topic cutting it? I’d like to see more in the middle of these two polarities, as I see them.

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