|Singing hymns - "Church as it Happens"|
My publisher is always telling me I need to be "cutting edge" in my use of social media.
- That's how I got into blogging, and I appreciate the nudge Upper Room Books gave me to get my "on-line journal" going.
- It's also why I'm on facebook. Again, I'm glad I'm involved, and I value the way it keeps me in touch with so many people.
- I TWEET too - although really I'm not sure what I'm doing and 90% of the time my Tweets are little more than an invitation to read my blog. I've been told people want to read any snippits of pithy, humorous or informative information I'm willing to put out there - but thus far I'm not locking in on the medium.
But, yesterday, I think I may have gotten a handle on the Tweet idea - even though my "Aha!" moment came in retrospect and I didn't actually Tweet a thing.
Here's what happened. We had a baptism at fpcBrandon. A young couple, active in our church, brought their infant son and it was one of those deeply moving occasions. So I grabbed my Android and snapped a couple of pictures. Then I thought, "Why not post this on facebook in real time?" So I did. I labelled the post "Church as it Happens."
I enjoyed the concept of Church-as-it-Happens so much that I posted a series of pictures, with comments, in real time during the morning. It felt awkward to be "playing with my phone" so much during worship, and I did get a couple of sharp elbows from the preacher, but I do believe it was worthwhile.
That evening I talked with a friend who had picked up the facebook posts. She told me what I had done was a "made for Twitter" thing, tweets - apparently - are more "stream of consciousness." To be honest I'm still not sure that I'm going to do that much on Twitter, because I have a hard time remaining in any way detached from the event I'm participating in - plus part of me can't get away from the idea that "It's rude to be on your phone" when participating in any kind of a public event.....
IMMEDIACY: I think what intrigues me most about this whole conversation is the immediacy. Of course, it's also true that nothing is quite so immediate as actually being there! Point taken. But, I don't believe the church-as-it-happens concept is about providing an alternative to showing up. I think it's about taking some of what is real and engaging and transformational about Sunday morning at fpcBrandon and holding it out there as a kind of invitation.
Let's face it, the vast majority of people don't even have public worship on their radar. So this is not about giving anyone an easy out, it's about offering the beginnings of an easy in. Social media is crawling with the raw evidence of life without committed faith. I believe it's time that - without judgment or anything other than love - more evidence of the truth of the Gospel message finds its way into the mix.
It's time that - without judgment or anything other than love - we tell the story and we tell it right.