Dan Edelen’s Post on Social Isolation

Eye opening post over at Cerulean Sanctum today on the ineffectiveness of social networking in creating actual connections between real people. Here is an exerpt,

“My neighbor told me a few weeks ago that he bought his fifth-grade son a cell phone. As my neighbor is a bit of a Luddite and has resisted such things in the past, I was surprised. What surprised me more was his reasoning, which was nowhere on my radar screen.

Seems he bought the phone because his popular son had seen that popularity dwindle to zero.  And that sudden dive was strictly because the son was out of the texting loop. No cell phone meant no connection to the social structure of today’s tweens and teens. In reality, the boy had ceased to exist.”

He goes on to talk about small groups he has been a part of and how they are beginning to meet less and less frequently. This hits home for me and encourages me to do a better job of informing people just how vital our groups are to our Christian walk and relationships with others.

On a side note, how many people do you know who have a name that has alternating consonents and vowels? Pretty nifty.


Facebook – The New Tool for Ministry

I have been amazed at how many of our 20s and 30s are on facebook. Seeing this trend I decided that I would see how well this social networking tool could be used to enhance existing ministries. I started a facebook group for our 20s and 30s aptly called Northwest 20s & 30s we got over 50 members within weeks. What amazed me was the fact that our group members sent invites to their friends in facebook they thought might be interested in joining our group. There are many aspects of this that are very helpful in organizing and advertising a ministry that may be helpful in expanding an existing ministry or beginning a new one.

Creating Officers:
Facebook groups allow you to assign officers. Since we had existing leadership roles in our group it was helpful to label them in the Facebook group so that their role would be more visible.

Facebook allows you to create events and invite the members of the group through their facebook account. You can put in the start and stop times, address, and any other information you like. Facebook even links it up to google maps. People can RSVP and if they do it will put a reminder on their facebook homepage a few days before the event. Since many check their facebook on a regular basis this provides a regular reminder of upcoming activities. You can list devos, upcoming Bible studies/classes, service projects, etc with this.

You can also post discussions in the group that people can reply to similar to a blog. Through this you can find out things they would like to study, mention what is coming up, etc. and get their feedback on it.

The Wall:
Facebook has something called a wall that provides a place for random comments and ongoing discussions within the group. This is like a running conversation within the group.

Post pictures, videos and links:
You can post videos or photos from past events and you can also post links to websites that they might find interesting. Photos and videos in facebook are very interconnected as the people in the pictures can be labeled and then it can show up in their own photos and not just in the groups. This provides another means of connection with group members and also a way to get more visibility with their friends as their friends may view their photos and see pictures from the latest devo or service project.

Many ministries are now using Facebook to network ministries/ministers and to organize groups of young people. Here are some examples (you may have to sign up with facebook to view these):

Northwest 20s & 30s

Riverpark Community Church (John Alan Turner)

Campus Ministry – Churches of Christ

Missional Conversations in Churches of Christ

Church of Christ Youth Ministers

On a humorous note – this was the first jpeg I made but it just looked like something from The Shining…like the Here’s Johnny Facebook.