Are you on Twitter?
Do you follow some wise people, or tweet little wise sounding nuggets of wisdom?
Would you also like to appear wise on Twitter?
Since September last year, The Church Sofa blog has been reading through Soul Survivor Bible in a Year reading plan. It didn’t seem that bad at first and then we got to the end of October. Maybe it was balancing life with a new born with life at work, but maybe the book of Leviticus didn’t help.
Possibly because I was fairly sleepy at that time, and that’s its arguably quite a dry read, I guess I found Leviticus a bit of a struggle. If you also struggle with it, can I recommend this post by @lucymills, particularly the following section:
Culture is not an easy thing to explain and identify, however much we talk about it. Because we are immersed in it. We don’t just look at culture, we look through it. Culture is not merely a picture, it’s a lens.
Israel was called to look through a different lens. Not the one of the Egyptians. Nor the one of those who had lived in Canaan before them. The laws in Leviticus were so specific because they were reacting to something specific – something happening in one of those other cultures. Something that spoke of other practices and other gods. But Yahweh was different. Yahweh was not confined or hinged to one place or that. Yahweh was not like the other gods, bickering amongst themselves. Yahweh was holy – purely distinctive – and his people were to reflect that.
We’re called to be distinctive, but how are we meant to be distinctive with our activities online? I’m going to look at four different approaches.
Do you limit your access? A recent book from Tim Chester entitled “Will You Be My Facebook Friend?” (Amazon Link), seems to take a cautious approach to Social Media, and particularly Facebook. He raises concerns about Facebook’s effect on how people spend their time, present their own image, and its effect on their local relationships. As such he seems to suggest taking a cautious approach to time taken on social networking. Do you take a careful approach to how long you spend on Twitter / Facebook etc? Is there a difference between spending a lot of time on a site like Facebook, compared to GodTube, Christian Chirp, and Believers Space?
I don’t know what your news feeds are like, but I do occasionally see some quite strong images and ideas. Do you share positive and encouraging sayings and Bible passages to lighten other peoples lives?
I was struck by this article on churchmag the other day: “Can Christians Influence the Internet Culture?“, which quotes Wikipedia with:
In Internet culture, the 1% rule or the 90–9–1 principle (sometimes also presented as 89:10:1 ratio) reflects a hypothesis that more people will lurk in a virtual community than will participate. This term is often used to refer to participation inequality in the context of the Internet.
The site itself includes a diagram that shows these sorts of figures quite simply, but the numbers make a good point. What if more Christians were actively engaged online in either conversations or creating content? Is there anything that the current creators of content can do to encourage more people to get involved? What if a mark of Christian distinctiveness online, was simply being involved?
I guess personally I try and follow this simple advice from #CNMAC12:
Share your life online. Someone may be better off because of it.
What simple guide lines do you have?
This post originally appeared on The Big Bible Website.
One of the characters on my twitter feed commented a few days ago:
Tempted to start writing a random blog but dunno where to start?
There were a few tweets between her and myself, but his conversation inspired me to ask Twitter, what advice would you give someone thinking about setting up a blog for the first time? Here is the collection of very kind responses I had back:
A number of great tips and comments to help inspire there, but how do you actually get started?
Well to keep it simple you have a choice of two main blogging websites. Blogger is ran by Google, and some would suggest its one of the easier sites to use, to find out more about Blogger I would suggest checking out this handy page over at The Vernacular Vicar. Or if you prefer something with a bit more adaptability then I’d suggest you check out this article written by Bex on Setting Up WordPress.
There are other blogging websites out there, would you recommend anything that isn’t WordPress or Blogger?
Do you disagree with any of the above?
Would you add any advice to what’s listed above?
Welcome to the third Annual Church Sofa Awards, where we celebrate the best and sometimes worse moments of 2013.
Church Notice Board of The Year: Well, most of the Church Notice Boards strike some sort of nerve. This year, this one was by far the most popular:
I cant think why…
Twitter Hero: For his involvement with the woman bishop vote, having a paw on the pulse of the good old c of e, dealing with the mini mice, AND being down to earth at the same time, it can only be the @thechurchmouse. (Nominated by @jc247essex)
Biggest Challenge: Well, this is going to be a joint award, simply because I dont want to make up my mind.
Phil Cooke presented a challenge awhile back, and is worthwhile reading as we look forward to 2013: Its Up To You!
and Google, for the following advert.
Best Toy: The Stripy Horse.For being a hero over at The Southern Dad blog </quick plug>
The Peoples Choice for Villain of The Year.
The Big Bad Villain of the Year: South West Water – and any other water company that said there was drought… its been raining ever since…
The Secondary Villain of The Year: The General Synod.
Honorable Mention (of which there are a few…): Mark Driscoll, Malcolm Bowden, Nicky Gumbel, Chichester Diocese, Westboro Baptist Church, General Synod, Christian Unions, Vicky Beeching, The Government, the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, and possibly The Church Sofa after this…
Simpsons Moment of The Year: Well the most popular Simpsons clip has since been taken down, so here’s the most popular that we’re allowed to watch:
Best Web Project: The Big Bible Project. For continuing to find new ways to draw Christians from all churches & none into deeper engagement with the Bible through online conversation… and because ShareCreative have won it for two years running.
The Peoples Choice of Best Christian / Church Blog:
This is a peoples choice, and when I asked for nominations on Twitter, one name was mentioned. Again, again, and again. Different names, voices, and faces. All said that Tanya Marlow from Thorns and Gold has the best Christian / Church blog of 2012, and as such is a website worth checking out.
What do you reckon? Are then any awards which we should have included??
Any awards that should have been different?
Any highlights that we’ve missed out?
Isn’t the internet great?
Because of the internet we have the opportunity to connect, and discuss various topics with various people around the world, via blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc. Normally things seem to tick by without too much hassle, but then, every now and then. Someone comes out and shares an opinion on something that seems to attract all manner of disgruntled characters performing the internet equivalent of screaming in that persons face. This sadly also applies to Christians online, getting upset about other opinions that other Christians have about “Christian” things.
Over the last two months the Church Sofa lads have kept their ear to the ground, and have compiled the following list of possibly the most wrong opinions out there:
What would Jesus make of online community? A response from Vicky Beeching
If Jesus was on a Social Network, would he be more of a Twitter or Facebook fan?
Saturday 20th saw The Christian New Media Conference 2012 take place in London, now the great thing about it was that the amount of tweets that took place about the event using the #cnmac12 hashtag meant that if needed, people could attend the event… via twitter. Quite odd, not ideal, but still quite good fun and almost educational.
As I shared three lessons I took away from the conference last year, I decided to have a go at sharing a few ponderings and questions that stood out to me after attending #cnmac12 via Twitter, using some tweets that stood out.
1) Who are you. What do you represent?
The image of God online is important because of the incarnation #cnmac12 God painted a picture of who he is in Jesus so we can too.
— Bryony Taylor (@vahva) October 20, 2012
#cnmac12 Twitter isn't just for tweeting CS Lewis quotes, it's for telling stories & being vulnerable.
— Phil Maylor (@Maylor) October 20, 2012
We must connect with pple through our vulnerability. Pple have longings to connect not with abstract principles but with the heart #cnmac12
— New Hope (@NewHopeBradford) October 20, 2012
If Jesus painted an image of God, so we can as well; what sort of image do we paint? Do our Twitter / Facebook streams look like one long collection of inspirational Nicky Gumbel / CS Lewis moments, or do we take a chance and share when we’re vulnerable? What if we over share when we’re vulnerable? I’m sure we’ve all seen those Facebook status’ that make it obvious that the person who wrote it is upset – but they dont want to say why…
Is there a happy medium between sharing the highs and lows of life, without coming across as either boastful, or that you’re just looking for attention?
2) The Future of Media.
— Richard Shearwood (@mistersaxon) October 20, 2012
#cnmac12 socialmedia is dead as a unique space. Going forward all media has to be social. how does that influence ur church/charity website?
— Andy Burns (@andyburns1974) October 20, 2012
Well I’m sure there have been news stories that I’ve heard about via newspapers / TV reports first… But I’m fairly sure I’ve heard about all the interesting stories via Twitter first. Is the online world really starting to influence the world of printed / on screen media? The tale of George Osborne and the Standard Class ticket was first told via Twitter before the news was available via other means. In her talk on “Has twitter made it ok to pray?“, Bryony Taylor suggests that the printed media now follows what happens first on digital media, with the observation that without Twitter, the headline “God is in control” would never have appeared in The Sun.
What does it mean for the humble church notice sheet if digital media is leading printed media?
3) Who Do We Talk To?
— elimREACH (@elimREACH) October 20, 2012
Does anyone use the “nearby” search on Twitter to see who they can connect with in real life? #cnmac12
— Graham Crosbie (@grahamcrosbie) October 20, 2012
Do we stay within a Christian bubble online? Do we talk to people in our local neighborhood? If you’re on either Twitter or Google Plus, try out the “nearby” function, if nothing else you may end up finding a great way to get local news.
4) You Are Not Alone.
#cnmac12 'we read to know we're not alone' – yes! This!
— Claire Ashurst (@ClaireAshurst) October 20, 2012
#cnmac12 I always love the freedom to tweet at these conferences! Sermon tweeting sometimes gains me glares in church!
— Helen Nicholls (@Hels_Bels_1) October 20, 2012
We read stories to remember we’re not alone in the world.
We read tweets and go on Facebook to connect to people.
And I guess, conferences like this are important in case you’re the lone webmaster / facebooker / creative type / tweeter in your church. Just remember: You are not alone.
This post originally appeared on The Big Bible Website