Can you effectively lead a church without being on Facebook? It may not be such a dumb question, in my opinion. Can you lead, teach, and shepherd without technology? Sure. But can you infiltrate the culture with the gospel while walking in a circle of avoidance around the culture? To put it another way, can you snub the local favorite coffee shop and still relate to the people around you?
This afternoon I met with some thinkers at Saddleback Church to talk about using social media in ministry. While we were meeting, a thought hit me and I started scribbling in my Moleskine…
John Calvin published 22 volumes of commentaries on the Bible and Martin Lloyd-Jones published 9 volumes on Romans alone. What if you could remove all of the non-essential language, antiquated stories, and strip all of that knowledge down to some bite-sized, transportable truths? There is certainly room for argument against such condensation of historic works, but we have to realize that we live in a society inundated with more information in a day than Calvin consumed in a year.
Yesterday, we kicked off the first day of Saddleback’s annual conference for church leaders, Radicalis. (In fact, you can still see it for free at Radicalis.com for free with the code “RADRICK11”.) One of my responsibilities is monitoring the social networking streams for mentions of our conference using the #rad11 hashtag. It’s been very cool to see the real-time feedback coming from our community of conference enthusiasts.
Even though I think Twitter is mo’ funner, I recognize that Facebook has probably the greater potential to be used for personal networking. My wife thinks Twitter is boring even though she recognizes its potential as a place for professional connections and conversation to happen. Because I’m accustomed to how Twitter works, I tend to use Facebook in a similar way (though with far fewer posts).