I could almost hear the collective groan as ministers read the title of last week’s blog Why Aren’t More People in Ministry Using Social Media? I could hear their answers: “We are already too busy. What more do you want from us?”
I am not a digital native. I did not grow up with the Internet, Facebook, smart phones, or email. That is true for the vast majority of people who are in active ministry today. I had the advantage of being in a situation and location where a computer was provided and I was expected to use it – way back in the 1980s. And with each successive ministry—I was either expected or encouraged to keep up with technology, which I did. And now, I am a web content and social media strategist trying to help religious communities, Catholic organizations and people in ministry use the Internet for mission. Who would have guessed that was in my future when I entered the convent so many years ago? Certainly, I would not have guessed it. The Internet did not even exist then.
What I have come to realize with technology and many other aspects of life, is that engaged, vital life, is one learning curve after another, one adjustment after another. Life does not stand still and now it is changing even faster with new challenges and opportunities facing us every day. The 24/7 news cycle does not let us forget it. We are in ministry to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ into every aspect of life, to every corner of the world—today’s world.
As we saw in the video I posted last week, multiple revolutions in communication and social relationships are going on because of the Internet, broadband availability and social media. This is not my mother’s world. I remember watching the evening network news with my parents and in election years especially, they would be eager to hear news about the candidates and see them on the screen. If the candidates said things they agreed with—I would hear “That’s right. You tell them.” If they heard things they didn’t agree with, I would hear “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
Today we have constant news. It comes on our computers, our cell phones, our iPads, and when people hear or see anything they agree or disagree with, they do not hesitate to comment, post, or tweet, for the whole world to know what they think. They upload videos and make podcasts. They do their own fact-checking. And sometimes they become the news themselves and it all takes place in an instant.
So many ministers think that learning how to use social media and then using it, is an “add on,” something else to put on their already overflowing to-do list. But it isn’t. That is what has changed. Our world is a digital world now. And if your area of the country does not have high speed Internet yet, it will. If you have it, but aren’t using it—who are you ministering to? Who are you missing?
To be continued next week…. Any thoughts? Share them below. Really, I mean it, get engaged. Share your thoughts!! You want to know how to get started on social media? You can start by commenting on this blog and others you read. It is that simple. And if you are on the social media sites, use the links below to share this post with your networks. Thank you, if you do that.
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