Gavin has some great thoughts on tech in worship here. His point about having a personal relationship is something, I’ve been thinking a lot about. On Twitter, I initially tried to limit myself to following friends – people I have real-life connections with. But, about the same time I started following Wil Wheaton’s blog, and soon after began following him on twitter. I enjoyed his blog, and figured I’d also like to see what he has to say on the other platform. From there I began to follow other “celebrities” – Greg Grunberg, John Cleese, LeVar Burton, and Rainn Wilson.
I began to follow them because something about their careers interested me (which is why I didn’t follow people like Britney Spears or Shaq), and I noticed by reading their updates I became more interested in what they were doing, because I felt like I had some sort of “inside scoop” to their lives. But soon the novelty began to wear off and I paired down my celebrity twitter following to Wil and Greg – Wil because he’s pretty funny and someone I relate to, and Greg because he consistently puts up interesting stuff (ie behind the scenes photos on the set of “Heroes”).
All of which is to say that Gavin’s right on in his analysis of social media and ministry. There has to be an initial “pull” beyond the medium itself – people aren’t looking for a podcast from a church in Grand Rapids, they are looking to hear Rob Bell, as he points out. But the media, if used properly can help deepen and develop those relationships (ie I first found out about Rob Bell through the Nooma videos, and from there started listening to the podcasts, but because of the podcasts, I’m more invested in the videos).
As he puts it:
truth is, if you are wanting to reach out, what you are generally only doing is ‘speaking out’ and with todays cultural and generation values, that just doesn’t cut it anymore. no one cares to get involved in a one sided conversation.
so when you are talking up or talking about how to use technology to reach out of your church. remember these thoughts. just taking what ever is created within your church walls and then broadcasted out for people to hear is just lame. figure out a way, commit to doing, some things that truly engage people in a conversation.