Articles tagged with: follow me

14 August 2010

Follow Me: Our Changing Cultural Context

Posted in ELCA, Culture, Leadership, Social Media, Church

In August 2010 I attended Follow Me: Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World, a conference hosted by the ELCA for synod communicators and campus ministry pastors and students.  You can find video, presentation slides, and other resources on the Follow Me webpage.

On Thursday we heard from Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson andPastor Nadia Bolz-Weber from House for All Sinners and Saints(HFASS) in Denver.  The Bishop preached at the opening worship, and then he and Nadia had a conversation about emerging church, pastoral care by text message, Lutheran theology and liturgy, social media, being clear about one's cultural context, and the cultural shifts that the church must engage if it is to be relevant and survive.  A couple things struck me:

In his sermon, the Bishop preached movingly about the Call of Samuel and how his generation of the church must be willing to embrace the role of Eli, who was Samuel's mentor, the one who helped him discern God's voice and will and to follow it.   The Bishop said that he and his generation must embrace and support the young Samuels (pastors and leaders) in the church, asking them, "What is God saying to you?"  This was exceptional both for the heartfelt way he shared it, and because it is something I have rarely heard articulated by older pastors.  Most times the reaction to younger leaders and their approach to ministry is suspicion, fear, and, in some cases, dismissiveness.  In great contrast to this, Bishop Hanson expressed great trust and hope in the younger generations of leaders.  Thanks Bish!

Nadia affirmed this later in her conversation.  When asked about getting young adults (people in their 20's) to traditional church.  She said, "They aren't going to come."  She said the best thing we can do to engage those folks are 1) identify leaders from within that group, 2) give them excellent theological training, and 3) fund them.

14 August 2010

Follow Me: Putting the Pieces Together

Posted in ELCA, Culture, Emerging, Leadership, Social Media, Church

In August 2010 I attended Follow Me: Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World, a conference hosted by the ELCA for synod communicators and campus ministry pastors and students.  You can find video, presentation slides, and other resources on the Follow Me webpage.

On the whole, the Follow Me conference was quite good.  We heard three different and yet interrelated presentations (plus supporting workshops and reflections from Bishop Hanson) on life in a 2.0 world, which is highly connected and interactive, a flat world that puts us in close contact with people of differing believes and convictions, is increasingly secular, in which technology is integrated into all aspects of our living, where there is a deep longing for meaning and community, as well as a word of hope and grace.
Some of my gleanings:
  • Know and love one's own tradition, but be in continual conversations with others.
  • Be grounded in the Gospel and the Sacraments.  Trust that the heart of our Lutheran theology and practice speaks deeply to people who haven't heard it before
  • Seek to deeply understand culture and our particular cultural settings in all their complexity
  • It is essential to understand millennial culture
  • Listen and engage with others with no expectation of conversion
  • Know who you are as a church and be able to express why it should matter to people
  • Practice witnessing
  • When we speak of faith, focus on Jesus and not on the institution of the church
  • Be willing to try, experiment, and fail.

14 August 2010

Follow Me: Social Media

Posted in ELCA, Social Media, Church

In August 2010 I attended Follow Me: Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World, a conference hosted by the ELCA for synod communicators and campus ministry pastors and students.  You can find video, presentation slides, and other resources on the Follow Me webpage.

On Friday afternoon, we heard from Andrew Bleeker and Michael Organ, two experts in social media, who were instrumental in President Obama's groundbreaking social media campaign.  They covered many social media basics and best practices.  Here's what stood out:

  • Best Practice: Make sure your online activity is driven by your offline goals. Don't do social media just for the sake of doing it.  Make your activity and choices purposeful, focused, and aligned with your congregational goals.
  • Best Practice: Your social media content should have a clear and distinct voice. Don't do it my committee, or, if you do, be sure the tone, language, and perspective is consistent.
  • I haven't anything in regards to text messaging, but this is a great way to connect with people quickly and directly.  This is also a great way to use Twitter in a way that doesn't require people to have a Twitter account.  Here's how: you can get anyone's tweets sent to you as a text message by texting "follow @[their twitter handle] to 40404.  For instance, here's how to get my tweets:

Get updates via SMS by texting follow prkanderson to 40404 in the United States.