Ponderings and questions after watching #cnmac13 from afar.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve blogged about various topics I’ve taken away from The Christian New Media Conference (#Cnmac13), both from being there in person, and by watching the hashtag on Twitter.

Again, I kept a watch on what people were saying on Twitter, but I guess this time I have more questions than answers. Here are some quotes from what I saw on Twitter, which stood out and made me ask questions.

“To begin with, there were a few tweets about humanizing the gospel.”
What does humanizing the gospel actually mean?

“There should be more of a partnership between local churches & the web”
Are there any good examples of this happening? Or do we simply mean a decent local church website? What would that look like anyway?

“Church online can be one, catholic and apostolic but cannot be holy. We need to be in embodied relationship to others”
I’m confused by this. I guess it depends on what Church looks like – if a Church online is focused on peoples relationship with each other and God then why not? If we’re seeing the difference between online and offline relationships becoming blurred, and if God can make offline relationships holy, then why cant he do the same with online relationships?

Does our concept of what constitutes church need to be re-imagined?
I’m presuming this could be the opposite view point to the above? But even if it isn’t: What the heck constitutes Church anyway?

(Sorry my system for keeping track of them wasn’t sensible enough to keep hold of usernames as well, if you’d like to be credited with anything , please give me a shout.)

If you have any answers for my questions, I’d love to hear from you below.

#cnmac12 Twitter Stream

I guess this is for people who cant make it to this years Christian New Media Conference, dont have twitter, but want t see a sample of what people are talking about.


3 Quick Things From #cnmac11

ThisIsMyChurch2

As part of the lead up to #cnmac12 (the conference aimed at helping the Church be the Church in a digital world), here are three quick lessons from last years conference.

Just do it.

Do you have an idea for something? Want to tell a story in a particular way? Do it. Get it out there. Put it online. Tell people. Find your community online.

Surrounded by people that think you’re a bit of geek for doing it? Well that’s ok. There may be people online who enjoy what you do.

Try it, and see what happens.

Just bear in mind one thing: check your motives and behaviour before God. On that note, do we pray about our online lives, relationships, and digital creations, as often as we should?

Be Yourself.

Be yourself as everyone else is taken” – Oscar Wilde

I can’t remember who said this on the day, but I find the above really sums up the need to be authentic online. The thing is: Who are you? If you’re a child of God, do you seek to share that love for other people online? My wife came across the #LoveMonday hashtag at the event, and promptly used it on Monday. She found a great positive way to connect with her friends on Twitter, the added bonus being that she had people asking about #LoveMonday, and what it meant.

On this subject of “Being Yourself”, the various websites and apps available online, give a wide opportunity to “share yourself”. Share the person you are. On one level this could be as simple as checking into Church on Foursquare / Facebook / Google Plus… On that note have you tried the nearby function out on the Google Plus mobile apps? It seems a more natural way of finding and connecting with local peeps around you, then trying to find an app in Twitter to do it.

To quote one of the breakout sessions:

Share your life online. Someone may be better off because of it.

Stand up

Remember. We have an equal platform.

What do we stand up for? Do we stand up for anything? Or do we only stand up for a cause when there is a hype to buy into?

What difference do we really make?

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Big Bible website.

“It’s not real until it’s on Facebook”

A couple of weeks ago, a setting was changed on my wife’s Facebook account. Her relationship status changed from “Married” to “Single”. From what we could gather… that single action caused a few sharp intakes of breath in our friendship group….

from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1362457
from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1362457

Let me back up a little bit… Back in September I was getting a little bored with the world of Facebook. I’m not sure what it was, it might something to do with being Friends with people who never spoke to me at High School, it might have been the magically changing privacy settings, it might have been those Farmville requests, but I was bored with it.

I then watched the Facebook f8 conference with my jaw dropped open. Dont get me wrong , I do like the look of Timeline, but there were two things I heard during the f8 conference:

  1. Facebook wanted me to be Facebook friends with everyone I knew.
  2. Timeline meant that they could see anything I’ve posted within a few clicks.

It was that second point that made me nervous, and I decided to quit Facebook. That lasted about 30 minutes until I decided to sign up with a different email address, and build a more stripped down account.

A few months later we decided to do something about the Facebook settings not letting myself and “Mrs Church Sofa” be “Facebook married”, she declared herself to be single – so we could be declared married. Except we got distracted somewhere in between the two stages, and she left herself as single.

We didn’t realise what we had declared until a 20 / 30 minutes later, when the text messages of concern started coming through from some concerned friends – text messages which I’m really thankful for by the way.

Our relationship status’s were “fixed” fairly soon after we received the text messages. These messages, the “congratulations” on our marriage status, and subsequent conversations reminded me of the phrase:

“It’s not real until it’s on Facebook”

How true is that? I’ve heard people say that the internet is making us all a little more lonely, but a simple setting change reminded me how quickly loved ones can show they care, and attention can be on us very quickly because of what we say and do.

During the next few weeks we’ll be focusing on Lent, and the lead up to Jesus’s death on the cross, but what do we do with the time when the focus is on us?

 

Originally on The Big Bible website

The Original Christmas PhotoBlog

A long time ago… Well last Easter, inspired by the Easter Live event hosted by Share Creative, we presented an Easter Play starring members of the Star Wars Universe. Where members of the Rebel Alliance, and the Evil Empire joined forces to tell the Easter story.

Yes it was crazy, but it was good fun. It also inspired us to maybe do something for Christmas…

Inspired by comments at #cnmac11 inviting us to “tell a story”; we’ve decided to do exactly that, and tell the Christmas story through using a photoblog.

Our aim is to go some way to answering: If Christmas happened now, in modern day England… What would it look like?

Join us, either at the Christmas Photoblog website, or follow it on Twitter.

I Tweet Therefore I Am?

cnmac11 wordleIf you’ve visited the The Big Bible over the last week or two, you’d have heard talk about the Christian New Media Conference, otherwise known as #cnmac11. While taking into account a wide variety of areas (ranging from Twitter, to the theology of creating), the conference encouraged us to look at how to engage with a digital world.

While we’ve taken a short punchy approach to our comments so far over at The Church Sofa, I’d just like a moment to pause and reflect on a few of the subjects that seemed to be raised during the day.

Just do it.

Do you have an idea for something? Want to tell a story in a particular way? Do it. Get it out there. Put it online. Tell people. Find your community online.

Surrounded by people that think you’re a bit of geek for doing it? Well that’s ok. There may be people online who enjoy what you do.

Try it, and see what happens.

Just bear in mind one thing: check your motives and behaviour before God. On that note, do we pray about our online lives, relationships, and digital creations, as often as we should?

Be Yourself.

Be yourself as everyone else is taken” – Oscar Wilde

I can’t remember who said this on the day, but I find the above really sums up the need to be authentic online. The thing is: Who are you? If you’re a child of God, do you seek to share that love for other people online? My wife came across the #LoveMonday hashtag at the event, and promptly used it on Monday. She found a great positive way to connect with her friends on Twitter, the added bonus being that she had people asking about #LoveMonday, and what it meant.

On this subject of “Being Yourself”, the various websites and apps available online, give a wide opportunity to “share yourself”. Share the person you are. On one level this could be as simple as checking into Church on Foursquare / Facebook / Google Plus… On that note have you tried the nearby function out on the Google Plus mobile apps? It seems a more natural way of finding and connecting with local peeps around you, then trying to find an app in Twitter to do it.

To quote one of the breakout sessions:

Share your life online. Someone may be better off because of it.

Stand up

Remember. We have an equal platform.

What do we stand up for? Do we stand up for anything? Or do we only stand up for a cause when there is a hype to buy into?

What difference do we really make?

This post was originally featured on the Big Bible website.

10 Moments from #cnmac11

10 moments…

10 Notes or tweets from the day…

10 snippets of conversation…

Hopefully something here to make you think… wonder… or indeed… ponder…

  • Creativity delights God, but we can never forget to keep our motives in check.
  • It’s easy to make cheap shots, but it is cheap…
  • Share your life online. Someone may be better off because of it.
  • Did we all just buy into the hype about #notw are we really invested in social justice and social change? (With thanks to @Goannatree)
  • “The future is about Emotion” – Patrick Dixon
  • Is a “digital sabbath” a “relationship sabbath”?
  • 10 online rules Pray, listen, respect, encourage, take time, share, be welcoming, be grateful, be yourself, and love. (More here)
  •  If you’re serious about online engagement, it is a 365 day commitment – @digitalnun
  • We don’t want noise. We want Truth
  • If Change happens at the edge of the radar, do we look there or do we just stick with what we know?
Did you see or hear anything that stood out? Please feel free to share.

10 Games To play At #cnmac12

If you ever anything like me, it doesn’t matter how interesting a speaker is, sometimes your mind does wonder during a presentation.  Or you may have a moment or two of downtime between parts of the day.

If this happens to you – try these games. Please note you dont have to be at a Christian Media conference for many of these games to actually work.

  1.  Try and work out the percentage of Mac to Windows laptops in any given room.
  2. Congratulate anyone using a Linux operating system.
  3. Compare avatars to actual faces. Does anyone really look like their avatar?
  4. Do those premier signs still have photos of various cathedrals on them? If so try and work out which city each one is found in.
  5. Spot if anyone is sulking because they didn’t get a wifi slot.
  6. Tell @DigitalNun that she is by far the coolest nun you’ve come across.
  7. Encourage the conference presenter to organise a Mexican wave in the main lecture hall – via The Twitterfall
  8. How many vicars are there in the room? / How many vicars are there in disguise?
  9. Play hunt the person you want to meet up with, via clues on Twitter. Love the fact he greats you like an old friend.
  10. Count the amount of gadgets.
For the record – these games were made up on the train journey home, not during any presentations!!!
*The Church Sofa team are not responsible for any odd looks or people questioning your sanity if you do try any of the above out.

What was #cnmac11 then?

Over the next week or two, you may see a few posts pop up on the Church Sofa that refers to #cnmac11, or (to use its full and I expect proper name), the “Christian New Media Conference 2011″…

… If you know what that is, I guess this isn’t for you… but if you didn’t go along this year… or dont know… then please read on….

The blurb from website describes it:

The aim of the conference is to Inspire, Equip and Connect attendees so that they are able to make an impact in the digital space.

This is done by

  • Be Inspired by what is happening inside and outside the Christian community, get a fresh vision for what can be achieved online.
  • Be Equipped by a choice of 20 breakout sessions covering a huge range of subjects and geared to provide you with the practical know-how you need to get things done.
  • Get Connected to other delegates and speakers during networking sessions and breaks. Link up with key agencies in the exhibition area.

If this sounds interesting, that I’m sad to say you’ve missed it. But the good news is that the conversations continue, the best place to join in is on Twitter – Check out the #cnmac11 discussion by clicking here.

I’m also going to spend sometime pondering the day, as I sit on the church sofa… with my head trying to make sense of it all.

Any questions, about anything? Please feel free to comment, or if you’re on Twitter – ask the question and include the #cnmac11 hashtag.