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John (Human3rror)

You need to check out ChurchCrunch.com ... we're having these types of conversations daily, and the divide you're talking about is getting smaller every day.

chrisdat

I posted on your discussion over at Social Edge, but I know that some never move past Beth's Blog so I hope you forgive the repost:

I think you are correct, some of the most cutting edge social tech stuff is coming from evangelical churches. You link to an article that quotes John Saddington at North Point Community Church. He has been blogging ministry & tech since 2001 over at www.churchcrunch.com. This blog in my opinion is the go-to place for all things tech/socialmedia/church/ministry in the evangelical space.

As far as youth - I am way past the "youth" age and there is lots going on with social media and faith in the evangelical community that transcends just "celebration" churches. Examples would be Mars Hill, http://www.marshillchurch.org/ (conservative, reformed) in Seattle with their development of OntheCity (Facebook like) application and Desiring God http://www.desiringgod.org/ (Reformed, Calvinist, Baptist) who's Pastor in his 60's. He and followers (in a social media sense - they are not necessarily connected with the church or ministry) engage on all levels of Social Media with thousands of Twitter/FB fans, youtube videos, Flckr groups connecting everyday with encouragement, support, help or just friendships.

In addition, I am aware of missionaries in many countries you are using social media tools in Africa, China, India, etc. from SMS, twitter, country specific FB, Youtube to connect and support thousands of Christians.

Seminaries across the spectrum are now including seminars on church/tech/socialmedia issues. Young pastors are leading the way - but have mentored and taught some of the older pastors who desire to connect with their congregations where they are at.

Good discussion. I think you'll find there is a lot out there. I joke that most of my followers on Twitter are Pastors, but honestly there is truth to my joke. On Twitter there is quite a community of Pastors and Priests connecting across denominational lines. Baptists tweet with Presbyterians, tweet with Catholics, tweet with Eastern Orthodox, Tweet with.... It's been a good thing to see and opened up friendship and dialogs that pre-socialmedia would not have possible.

Paul Lamb

Yup, Churchcrunch is a great resource. I have listed it along with many others here: http://manonamission.webnode.com/resources/

Would love to learn of other resources if you care to share?

I'm not as optimistic as you on the gap closing rapidly, but would love to be proven wrong!

Nick Charalambous

Beth: I am online pastor at NewSpring Church (http://www.newspring.cc) and I am striving to grapple with exactly the issue that you raise, excited about the same opportunities to leverage technology for building relational evangelism. I'd love to participate in any workshops that you plan to put together and offer any expertise or observations that might be of use. I blog at http://ipiphanist.wordpress.com on many of these issues, and I lead a congregation of between 400 and 500 people on any given Sunday here: http://newspring.cc/webcampus.

Paul Lamb

Chris: Thanks for the great comments and resources. I look forward to checking a number of them out. BTW, as I mentioned in another comment I am aggregating a whole range of resources at http://manonamission.webnode.com/resources/ feel free to suggest other ones you don't see there. On my to do list is to create a wiki so people can chime in and contribute directly...coming soon.

Question: Can you pinpoint specific seminaries (and offer any contacts) that are teaching social media? pauljlambATgmail.com.

thanks!

Paul Lamb

Pastor Nick: Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] and/or go to
http://manonamission.webnode.com/technology-spiritual-practice/

Steve Heye

I have found myself having this very debate internally. I often will tweet some during my church service on Sunday, but many of my followers are NPTech people. I have wondered if there is a line that I am crossing. But my faith, my church and the volunteering I do at my church is a big part of who I am.

My church www.communitychristian.org is active on Twitter, FaceBook and has their own social network on their site. But by far their most popular social media has been their YouTube videos (most of which are hilarious, especially the ones that I act in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVJYLR_OAgY). All of this creates multiple ways to connect with people and strengthen their relationship with the church and each other. It also provides us ways to share our faith with our friends and family that dont have a church home way. We can casually share and invite them.

I would love to see this conversation become more prevelant. But beyond that I think all nonprofits should be looking for ways to leverage the resources, connections and people in our community churches.

Paul Lamb

Well said Steve, and I couldn't agree more on the importance of connecting the dots between nonprofits (and nonprofit techies) and active faith-based communities.

Robin Mohr

I am a Quaker, and for us, the blogosphere has been a rich form of communication across broad geographic spread (Quakers tend to be few and far between) and across the theological and institutional divisions within the Religious Society of Friends (official name for Quakers). Facebook and Twitter are growing in popularity, but the most important thing in Quaker social media has been QuakerQuaker.org, originally a blog aggregator but now using Ning for the base platform. It's administered by Martin Kelley, with a small committee of editors, of which I am one.

I know that the current Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Bruce Reyes-Chow, is a huge advocate of social media. His blogs (personal, official ModBlog, and on sfgate.com), podcasts, and Twitter feed (@breyeschow) all give a example of deep use of technology within a mainline denomination. I went to a discussion he facilitated at the Web 2.0 conference in SF called What Would Jesus Twitter?

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