Social Media Tip: #FathersDay

Father’s Day is this today. In a time when we like to re-define the word father as meaning anything and anyone, I hold to the traditional definition. A father, whether single or married, who adopted or whose child is biologically theirs, that showed up every day, worked hard to provide for his family to the best of his ability; yes, that is the father we celebrate today. If you are a mother, you have your own day. Today, let’s put aside our anger towards the ones that let us down, and honor the ones who showed up.

You can even stay off social media if Fathers Day is unpleasant for you or celebrate with others that good fathers do exist. Try to keep it positive today.

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Confessions of a (Sort Of) Reformed Passive Aggressive

social media

Has Social Media Crashed Your Relationships?

What we put on social media reflects our hearts and makes us focus on those things which weigh heavily on our emotions. No matter how vague we think we are being on social media, the pain spills out and becomes a manuscript for others to read of what is going on inside of our heads.

As a Social Media Missionary, I wrestle constantly with myself to decide what my motive is behind publishing. It’s so tempting to have a targeted audience and it is such a fine line. How do we express the grief, anger, and pain in responsible ways so others can minister to us or so we can minister to them?

 Several faces do come to mind as I write this piece. It’s unavoidable. No one is completely un-passive aggressive. Our lives reflect what we see and experience, and this translates onto social media. Social Media is no different than face-to-face. We share stories with our friends on and offline. Gossip is a constant threat because friends can also share those stories publicly even when done in face-to-face situations. The copy and paste feature is the only difference between Social Media and face-to-face communities. How do we use social media responsibly as we battle the temptations of the tongue and wrestle with our pain?
I have some suggestions:
  • Ask yourself why you want to post something. Before you hit publish, search out your heart. Read some Bible verses that address this area. Read the context. It matters less what inspired the post as it does why you are posting it.
  • Where’s God’s lessons in the post? Will it irreparably harm a relationship? Will it cause dissension? Will it harm someone else’s relationship? If you insist on posting the post, treat it separately from yourself. Change names, dates, and even make it out to be a “friend.” Change details so it is so far removed from the actual event that God’s lesson comes out while keeping the relationship secure.
  • Passive aggressive behavior doesn’t change people.  When my passive aggressive behavior was out of control, relationships were harmed. This is actually a symptom of a need to control other people from a place of fear. Trust God to handle people and pray for them. As Sheila Walsh said in one of her books: The prayer might feel insincere at first, but eventually God will work on your heart and the prayers you say for them become authentic. These days I pray that God will change me even if the other person won’t change their behavior.
  • Set healthy boundaries on your friends and relationships. This is important. People can be great in face-to-face, but toxic online. Or maybe a lot of drama is happening in that person’s life and you need a break from it? First, “Unfollow” the friend. On Facebook, unfollowing isn’t unfriending. It keeps their feeds from showing up on your newsfeeds, but you still have access to their profiles so you can minister to them or be a friend. If the drama continues to impair your ability to be a friend, “unfriend” them only as a last resort. On Twitter and Google Plus it is less confrontational to unfollow or take them out of your circle. People take it too personally on Facebook. As this article states, many reasons exist for people unfriending others. Taking everything personally will make you a very lonely person.
  • Set up a Facebook group (set to secret) or Google Community (set to private) for people you trust so you can let them minster to you or you to them. A Calvary Church Facebook group has approximately 14,000 people on it and it is set to public. This means it is not an ideal place to share confidential prayer requests or problems. Setting up a group of your most trusted friends is a better idea. You are allowing people to share your burden without gossiping, being passive aggressive, or harming relationships.
Meanwhile, don’t be afraid of online community. It can be beneficial especially if you live in a place where you are having a difficult time connecting. Engage people. Talk to them about what they shared. Be a part of their lives as much as they are a part of your virtual life. You can’t live as if everyone will break your trust and heart. Trust God to make your heart whole again and live your life pouring into others lives even if they let you down.

Ideas That Percolate

The only sound is the ticking of the clock in the stretch of the long afternoon. My mind is busy, churning like it does, while I do these other tasks. Some ideas get written down for later when I am full time. Others are implemented now. It’s always a tug of war between balancing work, family, and ministry (not necessarily in that order).

Right now I am working on two new services for my websites. I am agonizing over catchy names, vision, and wording. Will people worry that I am taking on too much and invalidate the work I am doing? People always worry. The thing to remember in all of this is how God didn’t make a porcelain doll when He knit me in my mother’s womb.

He made a warrior.

I am an adult. I know how to say no and when to put something aside for later. Like my social media profile on RenRen; it takes far longer to operate than my other social media platforms. So it was put aside for when I am full time. I stepped down from my third job to make room for what God has set before me.

My mind races and it doesn’t see obstacles. It sees only possibilities. Today I have lots of small things to do, like letters to write, websites to update, and tomorrow I hope to get some of the even more tedious things, like updating spreadsheets, done. I can’t be creative all of the time. Every creative project always has the tedious, mundane things that are necessary.

Hopefully tonight I can get some research done.

Being Held Responsible

Hebrews 4:12-13

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

The word of God is alive and active. It is sharper than any sword that has two edges. It cuts deep enough to separate soul from spirit. It can separate bones from joints. It judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart. Nothing God created is hidden from him. His eyes see everything. He will hold us responsible for everything we do.

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The Bible Challenges Set Prejudices & Beliefs

Anne Lamott — ‘You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.’

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I shared an image with this quote on Facebook one day. The responses were good–the kind of responses that bring about real change. In my heart, I absorbed its truth. It wasn’t until later that it hit me.

As I raise financial partners, learn about the peoples on the move, and serve on social media and in the local church, God is challenging my previously held beliefs and prejudices. Again, God isn’t always agreeing with me. I am a conservative politically and to my chagrine, I realized how being an American and my politics had become an idol and even an identity. From our divided and violent country where one person’s rights override anothers that made me re-think things.

Sunday found me reading Luke 5:28-30:

Levi got up, left everything behind, and followed him. Then Levi threw a great banquet for Jesus in his home. A large number of tax collectors and others sat down to eat with them. The Pharisees and their legal experts grumbled against his disciples. They said, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary had this to say,

It was a wonder of his grace that he would not only admit a converted publican into his family, but would keep company with unconverted publicans, that he might have an opportunity of doing their souls good; he justified himself in it, as agreeing with the great design of his coming into the world. Here is a wonder of grace indeed, that Christ undertakes to be the Physician of souls distempered by sin, and ready to die of the distemper (he is a Healer by office, Luke 5:31)– that he has a particular regard to the sick, to sinners as his patients, convinced awakened sinners, that see their need of the Physician—that he came to call sinners, the worst of sinners, to repentance, and to assure them of pardon, upon repentance, Luke 5:32. These are glad tidings of great joy indeed.

My husband told me about an interview on Focus on the Family (I saved it to listen to later). A former LGBT spoke about how they can tell when they are treated differently. People assume certain things about you politically if you choose to develop a friendship with an LGBT. I said online, “How can they know Jesus if we don’t show them through sincere friendship what He means to us?” 

In Luke 5, Jesus sat and dined with sinners. It is important to note that not once did Jesus affirm a sinful life. He became the example. I don’t know a single believer who hasn’t sinned (and this includes myself). Love manifests itself in the service and love we give to others by living out our faith. A pastor once preached that both your head and heart must work together. Too much of one or the other is ineffective.

As I get deeper into mission history, God is challenging previously held prejudices and beliefs set by my American identity and political beliefs. A tribe in an area that I can’t recall from one of my readings talked about how religious teachers would be considered remiss if they didn’t share their religious views with a non-believing person. If a person is drowning, wouldn’t you want to throw them a life vest or jump in after them?

Through the Lens of the Congregation #socialmedia #church

When you listen to this webinar, listen as a congregation member, not a leader of a ministry or as a pastor. How can you, as a congregation member, serve on Social Media?

Here are my notes from the webinar:

Some points to consider: 

  • Elevate your brand? Instead, take sermon notes online and tag your church in it. Check in to your church.
  • For leaders and pastors: It’s not how many “likes” you get, but how you shepherd the people on your Facebook. How are you serving them on social media? How will you pray for them? Do you know them?
  • Communication: It’s important to respond within a reasonable amount of time to people who leave comments. It’s all about relationships.
  • Love Africa? Most of the continent is on Facebook.
  • Create groups to target certain people on your personal friend list with certain needs (set to secret for confidentiality) and create a community.
  • You don’t have to be on every social network. Pick two social networks that you, “can be all in on.” Michael Hyatt also said this.
  • Photo posts get 39% more interaction.
  • Shorter posts get more engagement. Save the long posts for a blog.
  • Ask questions. Be other-minded.
  • On posting scripture, don’t just post scripture. Add your own words, too. What does this scripture mean to you?
  • If you feel passionate about a cause, help an organization promote a cause by sharing your thoughts and stories about the cause.
  • Tell stories.
  • Organic reach means no advertising in the wording of your status.
  • Do auto posts and impulsive posts.
  • On your Facebook page, post at least twice a day.
  • High-resolution cover photos that tell a story and attract people on your page. On your personal profile, use the same.
  • canva.com is a wonderful and free photo place.
  • What is your vision or mission statement in life? An organization doesn’t have to be the only one creating one. Then, post around that vision or mission statement on your social media.
  • Post often on your personal Facebook or social media. Engage people. Don’t just share.
  • Facebook live works via your phone only. Use it to do an online Bible Study and invite people to that “secret” group.

Questions? Let’s brainstorm. Talk to me.

Links From The Webinar @EthneCity #missions #SocialMedia

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Thank you for attending the webinar today. I will post a link to the video for review or to see it for the first time as soon as it posts. Meanwhile, here are the links where I get all my information. I encourage you to explore and learn more. Think outside the box in how you can use these resources to reach others. God is inviting you to serve in His kingdom.

 

Ministry Websites:

TRC Magazine

Cataclysm Missions Intl LLC

Note on side projects: The Wilderness Trekking Video Series will be coming late May. Due to illness and training, things had to be reshuffled. 

 

History of Cybermissions:

Global Media Outreach

Mobile Ministry Forum

 

The Stats

Internet Stats

More Internet Stats

Facebook Newsroom 

Youtube Newsroom 

Moving Works Copyright Free Videos

Tumblr “Pizza” article

 

Who is Doing it Right?

Mormon Missionaries (2014)

LDS Addiction Video Featured on Fox 

Mormons Hand Out Book of Mormon at Musical 

 

Bringing The Social Into Social Media

Ann Voskamp

Joey and Rory Blog

Filipino Cooking

Four Ways to Deeper Friendships by Intellectual Take Out

 

Stories From The Field

Brian and Kimberly

Nancy Keel (Bible TransMission)

Code for The Kingdom

WorldVenture

J.D. Payne “Saudi Women”

 

Opportunities?

***cannot locate the Business Insider Article***

Nikole Hahn on Personalized Ministry

 

If you would like to join our Technology and Missions Facebook Group, please email me. 

Webinar on Friday!


How do we motivate and encourage our youth and adults, especially Senior Adults, to use social media and technology for online missions? How do we get people who speak other languages to use the internet in Christ-redeeming ways to speak across cultural boundaries in a person’s own heart language? Don’t let a lack of knowledge of technology or prejudices about technology keep you from sharing God’s stories through online engagement.

This webinar will focus on the topic of social media, creative ways of using social media, and what mobile technology is doing across the globe. The goal will be to inspire the church body to act through social media in more mission-minded ways. It is about utilizing the least-used resource in missions—the church congregation.

Webinar will be led by Nikole Hahn, WorldVenture missionary appointee in the field of social media and mobile technology. Learn more about Nikole at worldventure.com/nhahn.

Three Ways to Better Your Friendships

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Most of the time, social media has been a blessing to me. Not all relationships can withstand social media though. Sometimes, it is better for friends not be “friends,” and in light of missionary work, today I took some steps to build some healthy boundaries and keep healthy friendships well. Here are my three ways to build better relationships:

  1. My personal Facebook: This is for friends, family, co-workers, and those “grandfathered” in over the years (because, well, we’ve become great friends from a distance). Oftentimes, I will ignore Facebook friend requests unless I know them as a personal friend. If you are a ministry contact, please “like” my Facebook page or request via email to join our Technology and Missions Page. I do want to connect with you, but Facebook limits the amount of friends one can have on their personal profiles. This is why I created a page. I have 22 social networks. I am active on most of them; and all of them, when I am 100% supported.
  2. Healthy Discussion by Example: One of the things I have done over the years was to create a comment policy so discussions and disagreements can be civil. This applies to all my Facebook accounts and some other social media where I can monitor the thread. I believe we can treat each other with love and not agree with everything the other person stands for. In doing so, I delete comments that are name calling, a put down to the person’s character, or come off as angry and sound confrontational. There are 52 Bible Verses talking about “self-control.” James 1:19-20 says, “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry. This is because an angry person doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.” I believe we can be loving to others with any confrontations done in private message, text, email, phone call, or face-to-face; never in the public eye. 
  3. Refraining From Being Right: The church I work at is doing a sermon on the tongue, and James really hits it hard on the power of the tongue and its consequences. When perusing my social media, I may disagree with someone, but I only respond if it is a misrepresentation of the truth or if there is a chance they are open to discussion. Politics can be a stumbling block to some in seeking Jesus. It is such a hard balance to maintain. Share my politics and become that stumbling block or say nothing? I believe a happy middle ground exists. I think people can share their views if we all practice tolerance towards those we disagree with (and I’m not talking about the tolerance in the accepting way). Tolerance in being kind as we disagree. This goes back to point number two. Or if a conversation is going badly, refraining from further discourse to preserve the friendship. Make sure you are relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you navigate social media and relationships.

What have you found in your relationships that work?

How do you monitor your social networks?