I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video

Challenge from College Humour. Can you do nothing for 3ish minutes, except watch this entire video?

How did you find it?
I’m not going to comment on the attention span of people online, but instead I’m going to suggest checking out the “Do Nothing for 2 minutes” website. I’m sure its impossible.

When we are viewed #digidisciple

(This post originally appeared on The Big Bible website)
The book of Joshua starts on a bit of a downer. Quite simply, the greatest prophet, that God knew face to face, Moses, is dead. With this in mind its no surprise that the book of Joshua doesn’t start with a huge noteworthy basis for Sunday School lessons, but with a chat between God and Joshua. Joshua then talks to his officers, and the rest of the people.
While the third chapter of Joshua has some amazing stuff featuring a river being stopped, Joshuas’ first actions in the second chapter are covert with spies being sent out:

“Go, view the land, especially Jericho.”

While I guess it didn’t go entirely as expected, Joshua’s first actions are simply to watch and learn about the land in front of him. I was once told (probably during a Sunday morning youth club), that how Christians live, mean more to non Christians then most if not all sermons. I imagine that the quote “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” was probably mentioned.
With what feels like half the world on Facebook, #Digidisciple(s) have the opportunity to be a positive Christ like influence to more then just their immediate circles of influence at home or work. We’re given the chance to let our lives be viewed online. If people are viewing us as an example of what Christianity is like, what would they see?
The thing is, if we share the times when we want to rant or scream, we’re accused of being negative. If we share just the good times, we’re accused of not being transparent, or not truthfully sharing our lives.
So if we let people view our online lives, how much do we let them see?

Being Different #Digidisciple

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 GodTubeChristian 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)[1] 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.

The Crowd, Mistakes, and I #digidisciple

When I was younger, I came across a pastime known as “people watching”. Every now and then, a friend and I would find ourselves in the front of a coffee shop, and the two of us watched the outside world. We’d sit there, comment, and take it all in.

As I’ve grown up. I’ve realised that was stupid. Coffee shops are not where the action is found. For real people watching, go to a train station! Preferably a nice big train station. You get to see people who lost, confused, and sometimes saying good bye. But you also get to see people having laugh, relaxing, and being reunited with loved ones. Even if its just their luggage. This is where you really get to see people at their most emotional… People watching at its best…

The other Monday, I found myself upgrading from “People Watching” to “Manic Christmas Crowd Watching”. You see, I made two mistakes on that day:

  1. I thought that Christmas shopping on a week day would be easy.
  2. As I work in technical support, I looked for shelter from the Manic Christmas Crowd in a local computer store. I figured it would be quieter, that I could gaze at gadgets I couldn’t afford, as well as possibly get an idea of what some of our customers may be calling in about after Christmas.

I thought it would be a space to build my nerves up to take on the Christmas crowd again. As I burst into a space to breath, I became aware that I wasn’t in a quiet breathing space, but I was surrounded by yet another Manic Christmas Crowd.This crowd seemed different to the normal type.

This lot weren’t storming from one place to another. They looked a little slower, some looked a little lost, some fairly stressed. I heard people mutter about prices, how fast it goes, and if it was ADSL compatible. Yes I was in that section of the shop.

Various emotions and various needs, but be it on with new iPhone, router, or printer, the members of this particular manic crowd were all looking for new ways to connect with people. Part of me wonders if we’re all part of this crowd at times.

Looking back over the sight of that confused rugby scrum, part of me wonders:

  • Where does the Church fit in a world of people, looking for new and faster ways of connecting?
  • Do we concentrate so much on individual meetings, that we forget about connecting with people during their lives?
  • What do you think?

Above originally appeared on The Big Bible)

Someone. Please Press Pause? #Digidisciple

In the palm of my hand, I have access to what feels like the entire world and possibly more. Just by using this little phone I can not only keep in touch with people around the world, but I can also send them photos I have just taken and edited.

But there’s more:

As I take my walk into work, I have more then enough time to update websites, blog on tumblr, and update Twitter. If I remember to read the Bible, I have access to a number of translations, maps, and images of biblical events… Besides, who said I needed to read it? I can just put the headphones in, and get listening to a random voice reading it to me.

I’ve not even got started on my ability to update my online CV, play computer games, remotely access my computer at home, and measure the distance / speed of my walk… all by using my phone.

Have I even mentioned anything about calling or texting?

With the above in mind, its easy to believe that every 60 seconds*:

  • 79,364 Wall Posts are made on Facebook.
  • Over 6,600 new images are uploaded on Flickr.
  • 694,445 queries are typed into Google.
  • 168 million emails are sent.

Its getting noisy out there.

Think about where we were 10, 15, 20 years ago. Did you ever really imagine we would have such fantastic access to a world of information, almost every where we go. The thing is, its not just information we have access to. Not anymore. Ten years ago, could anyone have seriously imagined how much of our entire lives would be shared online?

With so much access to everything we think we need, do we sometimes forget to slow, turn of the computer, stop the music, and just be quiet? I know I do.

If we live our lives in a digital “always on” world, does it sometimes feel a little noisy?

Do you seek out quieter moments, away from online access? If so, how do you do it?

*Stats from go-gulf.com
This post was originally posted on the BigBible Website

Are you a #Digidisciple?

I’m almost hearing you think “Whats a #Digidisciple?”

Well one definition of a disciple is:

A Disciple is one who grows in Christ and in so doing models and teaches Christians the precepts of the Bible, prayer, doctrine, relationship, Christian living, service, and worship, to name the main ones.
A Digital disciple is a someone who seeks to live out the above in a world saturated by digital information and access, or as the Big Bible puts it:
A ‘digital disciple’, or, as we are calling it, a #digidisciple is someone who seeks to live out their Biblically-informed Christian faith in the digital space, whether they are dipping a toe in, or are fully immersed in the digital worlds … and, yes, there are lots of different digital worlds, including some more well known ones: Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Second Life, the increasingly mobile and interactive nature of the digital space… just as the online world has moved from read, to read/write, to immersed.
The ChurchSofa lads are going to be joining with others at the BigBible site  in trying to work out what being a #Digidisciple really does mean, and how we can live as one.
We’re going to be blogging on “My So Called Digital Life”. While we’re getting our heads around what that means, I’d suggest heading over to The Big Bible Blog and getting stuck into the discussion that’s started so far.

The tale of Uriah Tweep

You remember the story- I’m sure? You’ll remember King David – the villain of the piece. You’ll remember Bathsheba – a victim of the king. You’ll remember her husband, too – poor loyal Uriah. Do you remember Joab, though? Joab was the commander of King David’s army – and charged with the unpleasant task of clearing up David’s mess. In order to keep his hands clean, he was to send Uriah to the thickest part of the battle, and then withdraw all the support troops from around him – so that he could die by the hands of the enemy. In this way, Uriah was gone, and David’s problem was no more.

At different times during my life I have felt as if I am wearing Joab’s clothing. On those occasions when I have commissioned personnel for mission service overseas and promised to pray for them, I occasionally slip into Joab-mode as the months roll by. In other words, I have willingly sent them into battle, but allowed myself to get distracted by other things – and I leave them to fight on alone without the support of concerted prayer.

Later today I shall meet with a group of energetic, creative, motivated people who are serving the Church of Jesus Christ in digital space. They are visiting places and contacting people across the virtual map who are far from any church. They are intersecting with culture in myriad ways which have not hitherto been possible. This is cause for celebration.

My question, however, is whether they occasionally turn into Uriah and the rest of the church occasionally slips into Joab’s role? Do we dispatch them into these digital spaces and then simply leave them to get on with it? Any missionary who was contacting over 1000 people in a week would probably feature in some sort of church prayer letter – but do these ‘digital disciples’ get that kind of support?

Of course, the people reading this are probably the wrong ones to ask. The chances are that if you are on this page then you also share some degree of conviction about the value of an online Christian presence. Could you spread it further, though? Could you get this article, or a version of it, into some printed medium in your church?

Could we do something to gather the troops around all those Uriah Tweeps out there, I wonder?

Hat tip to Richard Littledale