Two weeks ago, I published my 100th post. In the world of blogging that may not seem like a lot, but to me it is an accomplishment. I am writing this blog to encourage people in ministry to use the Internet and social media to support their efforts.
We all have to move forward in using technology for mission and ministry. We have to learn with each other and from each other’s mistakes. We need to do this, because each of us has the same mission to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. It is not realistic to think that everyone will blog or use social media. We don’t expect everyone to leave home and go to the foreign missions. But we do expect everyone to support the missions at home and abroad.
How can we support the use of the Internet and social media for mission?
- If we have the skills and aptitude for Internet ministry, we need to take the initiative and see where we can put them to good use.
- If we do not have the skills to use social media for mission, we need to find ways to help those who do have them to move us forward. Give them time, resources, and encouragement. Co-operate when asked for a photo or an article or something we can provide. Be helpful.
- We need to keep an open mind and try to learn all that we can about what’s possible and what the pioneers in this field are doing. When we see something that might work in our situation—go after it. Learn how to do it. Experiment. Embrace the challenge and enjoy it.
According to a July 2012 study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 82% of Americans use the Internet and 66% have broadband connections at home. In addition, 48% of these Internet users over 35 use social media. Facebook recently announced that it passed the 1 billion member mark. These numbers are only going to increase over time.
Faith, religion, morals, values, spirituality, scripture, prayer, family, and every other topic imaginable are being discussed on the Internet. It is the first place many people go for information and inspiration. Catholic ministries need to be there and our messages need to be well designed and delivered in a timely fashion.
I offer a word of thanks to the bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity, dioceses, parishes, communities and organizations who are pioneering our Catholic presence on the Internet. We need you and we need more like you to bring the gospel to this new mission field.
What do you think? Is this a cause worth working for?
Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net