This is my first entry in the “From The Mission Chair” page. As someone that has been around technology since punch cards were all the rage, and as someone who is currently employed in the IT profession, even I am amazed by the direction of technology today. In particular, I find Social Media to be an enigma. On one hand, people spend more time in Facebook then they do talking to people. More time following their tweets, then following their mission. On the other hand, Social Media has proven to be an effective method to bring about positive change in our local communities and around the world. Look at the impact Social Media had on the Arab Spring, in which people who never were given a voice now had the world’s attention. Kim Garst, a self-described Social media and brand strategist, discusses this quite eloquently in her article Social Media as a Catalyst for Social Change.
So what does this mean for us? How does Rockville United Methodist leverage Social Media to bring about positive social change in our community, in our country, and around the world? To be honest, I do not yet know the answer. I have just recently been experimenting with Twitter. Twitter gives you 140 characters to convey a message. I am amazed at the messages that can be conveyed in so few words. On my personal Twitter account, I follow many people, including the Pope. Imagine the impact the Pope has with his 2.9 million followers when he tweets “We cannot sleep peacefully while babies are dying of hunger and the elderly are without medical assistance” or “We cannot be Christians part-time. If Christ is at the center of our lives, he is present in all that we do”. Wow, what a use of 17 and 22 words!
So, I am ready to take a personal “leap of faith” into this new technology, and have created a Twitter account for our Mission programs: RUMC Twitter Account. I have not yet “tweated” but I have been following some of my favorite “social” groups, including Rethink Church (UM Sponsored), Stop Hunger Now, the UM News Service, and Busted Halo. At this time, I will cautiously observe to determine what messages most affect me. However, I’ve never been one to stay on the sidelines very long, so watch out.
If you are a twitter user, please follow us on our collective mission. If you are not, but you would like to learn more about twitter, let me know and we can learn together.
In His Service,
(P.S.That didn’t last long. Two minutes after completing this post I tweeted the fact that I created this page!)