Saturday 26 October 2013

Social media and the gospel... #thatoldchestnut

I wonder how many times those words have been typed as people submit their topic for a MPhil/PhD/thesis/magazine article etc. etc. etc.

We seem to feel that social media and getting the Christian message over must be important in some way or other.  I share that view. I tweet. I blip. I (occasionally) update my Facebook status. I blog.

Twitter is probably the most fertile area for this sort of thing. I'm convinced the power of the 140 character message will grow and grow.  It is punchy, wide reaching, linkable and effective. It can challenge regimes, point out tasteless products and gather and influence public opinion. It's great. It's not coincidence that eveyr product, every TV programme, every magazine has a #hashtag and a @username

How do Christians tweet?

There are 'vicarbots' who post snippets of scripture to uplift and challenge.  They are usually unfollowed pretty fast.  There are trendy/sharp Christian tweeters, always making witty asides and observations.  There are tired and faithful Christians sharing their journey.  And many, many more.

Does any of it proclaim the gospel? I suppose (vicarbots aside, despite what they think) is does.  There are men, women and children sharing their journeys, mutually supporting each other and generally trying to work out what it means to be a person of faith in the 21st century.  Life goes on in Twitter, just as it does in RL: and Christian life is just the same.

I'm off for some corporate church comms meetings in Edinburgh next week.  I've only been to one so far, and the overriding concern at that one about Twitter was how to prevent the (corporate) church being taken to court for something this is tweeted by a clergyperson.  That is a rather underwhelming take on engaging with the world of social media: pre-emptive damage limitation. Oh well.

So I will go on tweeting (I try, usually vainly, to be amusing and show that stuff is happening). But I will also visit, I will meet, I will drink cups of tea and try to live a sustainable and balanced life as a human being, a priest and a person who follows and has been transformed by Jesus Christ...


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