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Articles tagged with: pastoral care

Digital Ministry: It's Not Brain Surgery

BrainOne of the most common questions about social media in ministry — “How much time do you spend on Facebook?” — is quickly becoming an irrelevant one.

Today 46 percent of American adults own smart phones and nearly 20 percent of Americans use a tablet or e-reader. They manage multiple social networking profiles, spending upwards of 15 minutes a day on Facebook alone, and carry out many everyday tasks like shopping and banking online.

As the Internet goes mobile and we spend more time there, the line between our digital and face-to-face lives is rapidly blurring.

This integration of our digital and analog lives, whether we choose to embrace or resist it, is changing our lives and, therefore, the practice of ministry, in profound ways.

Today’s ministry leaders are called to be present and minister not only in person, by phone, snail mail and email, but also via text message and social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

I experienced this myself recently when one of my parishioners — I’ll call her Sally — had surgery to remove a tumor from the right side of her brain.

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Praying the Manhunt on Twitter

A "Why Twitter?" Ministry Story

police

A police officer was shot in my city yesterday. He was responding to a robbery at a local jewelry store.

Twitter immediately lit up and tweets started flying about the incident from news outlets, community leaders, and residents. Most people used the hashtag #woburn - the general hashtag we use here for community information - to tag their posts. For the rest of the day, Woburn was trending on Twitter.

Twitter is one of the ways I've become more engaged with our local community and so I recognized many of the people who were tweeting.

I jumped in and started retweeting information. One suspect had been apprehended. Three other suspects were on the loose, considered armed and dangerous. It was a manhunt. Local and state police, SWAT teams, helicopters all on scene. Road blocks. Door to door searches. Schools and the YMCA were in lock down. Residents were urged to stay inside with their doors locked. The officer had been shot several times but was in stable condition.

It was chilling.

bethany tweet

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