Tomorrow night I’ll be doing an encore presentation of a webinar called Digital/Spiritual Literacy. (There’s still some room left, by the way. Click here if you’re interested.) As part of the preparation of the webinar I’ve scoured theweb looking for resources. Thing is, just when I think I’ve found the just the right online articles and blog posts to make my point, something new comes along. That’s pretty much the way the web is working these days—the amount of new content is appearing so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Actually, make that just plain impossible. But that’s okay. The great thing about the web is that if you plug into the right network (the network that’s right for you, that is) you have the opportunity to learn and grow with others who share you interests.
So that’s what the post I’m sharing with you today is about: learning and growing together. It’s by Elizabeth Evans Hagan, senior pastor at Washington Plaza Baptist Church in Reston, Va. Pastor Hagan, who blogs at Preacher on the Plaza, offered a terrific opinion piece on the Associated Baptist Press website called “What Twitter can teach the church.” It’s a quick summary of her experience with Twitter, from skeptic to believer. What I like most about the post are her thoughts on what congregations can learn from Twitter. She says, “Beyond its effectiveness for outreach, I think the church has a lot to learn from Twitter as a newly minted word in our vocabulary.”
- First, say what we need to say and stop. The days of long typed memos addressed with a stamp on a letter in the mail are over.
- Second, if we want to reach more people with our churches, then we must “follow” people outside our normal social circles.
- Third, it’s a necessity to stay connected to those on our membership rolls. Relationships, like Twitter followers, take time and effort to keep going.
I like the idea of Twitter offering important lessons for congregations to learn. And congregations should be all about learning. As Hagan says in the closing words of her piece: “the church, like any good means of technology, is never something to be mastered to use perfectly all at once but rather to grow into as we learn and practice it together.”