Social Media and the Ministry of Jesus Christ


What would Jesus post?  

I have no idea, but I'm guessing it would be a 21st century version of his teachings in the gospels.

You will notice that, I continue to update this website, and have most recently added a "Social Media" page.  (See along the top menu, far right.)  If you click on that page, you'll be able to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Here's my quick run down on how I use Social Media.  If you want something more thorough and thoughtful, I suggest you pick up a copy of Keith Anderson's fine book Click 2 Save.  I did, and it's quite helpful.

I am not of the camp that thinks, 'if we only did social media right, our churches would be revived.'  While most people would not say that, I'm wondering if some actually believe it, judging from comments made on such forums as the ELCA Clergy Facebook group.  Don't go there, its a black hole, you'll never escape.

I do believe that these are new tools that can be useful in ministry, as was my experience while a Pastor at St. Andrew Lutheran Church.  I used facebook primarily as a way to reenforce what we were doing in real time.  As an example, when our youth went on a mission trip, I would post photos and an occassional short video during the week.  Friends, family and congregational members could see what we were doing.  It helped bridge the connection from Sunday to midweek activity.

As a Bishop, my perspective on how I'll be using these tools is evolving.  But, the over-arching philosophy is the same.  I see these tools as ways to connect people and parishes with one another.  My overal vision is to be a relational synod as opposed to a program delivery synod.  In other words, I'd rather see congregation 'A' connect with congregations B, C & D over a new idea that works, as opposed to my Office providing a program for you to use.  This concept of a relational based synod ministry is early in my thinking, and it will evolve.  I'm grateful to Pr. Nathan Pipho, who coined the phrase and concept during a salmon smackdown session (aka home BBQ) at my home this summer.  Several of you are helping to put flesh on this concept, and no doubt a true relational understanding of ministry would only happen if it were built by relationships.

I'm hoping to use this website and blog, along with Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, etc to help facilitate connectivity throughout our synod.  So if you are on any of those platforms, go on over and follow me, so that I can follow you, so that we can all follow the One who sent us.