DNA New Media Evangelism 2014


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Teaching session for DNA, focusing upon evangelism in a digital age - what does it look mean, look like, when our faith is authentically lived and shared.

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  • Social Media – all about RELATIONSHIPS, so we are going to start by getting to know each other as if we are on Twitter (the 2 x 30 second exercise) … FEEDBACK RE WHAT KIND OF LINKS THERE ARE …
  • … see how much you can see about me from my Twitter profile…
  • Something about me … often gets people talking to me – esp if I wear t-shirt as in my bio photo…
  • Commonality – finding a starting point & getting to know each other – essential building blocks of any evangelism, etc… with a strong focus on LISTENING! You’re looking to provide information, engage in dialogue, listen to your audience … build a community who will be interested in the other things that you do ..
  • Also whilst we’re thinking about social media (sometimes new/digital media…) … we also need to think about what evangelism is.. In a world where it’s OK to be a Mac evangelist, but not a Christian evangelist… DISCUSS (bring in e.g. friendship evangelism, on the street, Bible verses in tweets, etc. – see the notes from Spring Harvest)
  • Lifestyle = includes online!
  • We need to understand “the culture” that we are engaging with…
  • … this is what many people think the internet is about … just a big ‘timesuck’, but thankfully the attitude is changing amongst those I’m meeting – question changing from ‘why should we waste our time’, to ‘we know we need to get with it, but we don’t know how…’
  • Qualman – 4 mins (business focused, but worth thinking about…)
  • … want to find the right tool for the right job?.. If you want to know more – download this 6-7 page document I try to keep updated.. , and you’ll see different tools are use for different things!
  • Far too many times when people talk about social media, they focus on the word ‘media’ (or technology), rather than the word ‘social’ which is surely what we should be focusing on … we are looking to build relationships, which require good communication (rarely do you want to get “the IT Guy” doing your social media … you need someone who is good at comms)….
  • I have a problem with this kind of “if you share this” kind of statement…
  • We are created by a God who rejoices in our 2-way communication with him… we are called also to be extravagant communicators…Image taken from Durham University website.
  • DISCUSS – what is involved in good/positive “communication” – 2 way, listening, interest, etc.. So - want to highlight a handful of ways that people have engaged ‘differently’ online…
  • Chris Juby – reducing every chapter to 140 characters … did this personally, but decided to send out a local press release – got picked up by national & international press – got lots of people engaged with the Bible – even if they were only interested in language/the novelty of what he was done… it’s still a touchpoint (online = lots of touchpoints)…
  • Phil, who’s here somewhere … summarised entire Bible in around 9000 characters… makes you think about what it’s really about.
  • … and we’re been playing with what each Bible chapter looks like as a wordle – where the bigger the word, the more times it’s mentioned in a chapter…
  • .. And this ties into an increasingly ‘visual turn’ online – particularly with the advent of Pinterest which gained popularity at the beginning of 2012 – with people sharing inspiring pictures (and the picture links to the website behind it).
  • Important in our thinking on this is the notion that we are talking about ‘online/offline’, not ‘virtual’real’ … relationships online have a different nature, but they are as valid and real as offline relationships, and for many the edges are entirely blurred as conversations online in between face-to-face meets change the nature of offline conversations (sometimes allowing for deeper conversations in either space)…
  • … and at all times we want to remember that we are talking about ‘human beings at machines’ nor replaced by ‘human beings as machines’.
  • … and this is what we are looking at with The Big Bible Project – seeking to allow a range of voices (from the pew, the pulpit & the academy) – how do we increase both Biblical literacy and digital literacy?
  • Think about who might read it .. And think how that might change what you write… think about your audience … (not about spending all time adapting to other people – but also need to contextualise)… DISCUSS how this might change the kind of posts you make..
  • You might decide that you want to think further about what your “10 commandments” of engaging online might be… but a few thoughts…Here I want to emphasise from Ian Aspin who spoke at CNMAC11 … that it’s a “pull” economy – we have to earn the right for people to take notice of us – most of the public wouldn’t see us as having a ‘God-given right’ – we need content that will be interesting & draw people in…
  • Come to know yourself, what gifts and passions God has given you, and look to live those out authentically & with integrity online… what I call a ‘digital fingerprint’ – you were made to be unique, so be unique … and look for others to engage with in that area… Think it’s hard to sustain ‘authenticity’ 24/7 online, are so many TRACES … (still entirely possible, but I think hard) … but also there’s a tendency to work hard on ‘marketing’ ourselves… (e.g. Romania … they go out and have studio photos taken for Facebook)…
  • … who are we in God, and therefore how can we make a difference?
  • God gave us gifts, passions – how do we use those to be authentic – and then in those spaces to share [LICC?].
  • … it’s the world of the ‘long-tail’ – don’t compete online to be known as ‘church’, but to be a particular aspect of church – good to find people to connect with…http://www.empowernetwork.com/rlane/files/2013/04/long-tail-keywords.jpg
  • .. And example of how this has helped many people is this website (also on Twitter, etc.) and how they have got these people together… something many people don’t want to talk about… but these people do –it’s healing
  • … note also that people tend to find it easier to ask difficult questions in the relative ‘anonymity’ of the online space…
  • So much of what we talk about is about collaboration & community … and re Big Bible Fr David Cloake had this to say about participating as a #digidisciple “I am …”
  • In all of this we are thinking “who is our neighbour” – within the church community we seem to particularly “value” f2f contact (a lot is down to the incarnation of Jesus), but this notion needs a lot more thought – we now have global neighbours! DISCUSS
  • We also have limited time to engage – we can’t be spending all our time online (same as you wouldn’t spend all your time in the pub, or the gym, or Tesco)…. But if you are going to respond to something it’s better to be quick..than to be BBC quality! Quality often comes second to missing the opportunity… Whilst you’re thinking about that, remember also that the time for ‘control’ has largely passed online – especially once something is online… and also that UK laws about privacy, libel, etc. still apply …
  • We’re seeking to be salt & light in the digital space – a good example (and many non-Christians are, so what will make us stand out?)
  • Something to leave you thinking about … “what Biblical values do we want to see in our (digital) world?” (digital in brackets, as it’s part of our whole world…) …
  • … what do the fruits of the spirit look like online – what does it mean to be patient & self-control … do we need to hold back from posting that thought at the moment we think it? EXERCISE
  • .. In particular what does it mean to share with ‘grace’ … we want to be invited to share, but we also want to ensure that we respond to things ‘gracefully’ – this doesn’t mean like a doormat but not flinging around some of the insults that I can see from people online at different ends of Biblical interpretation… DISCUSS GRACE-FULL CONVERSATION – being a good ‘witness’ online…
  • I think this is the thought that I want to leave you with.. (if time, ask if any other verses spring to mind for similar adaptation.. )
  • So – what do you think? What does it make you think about engaging online, how we share our faith, how we make Jesus real to people?
  • DNA New Media Evangelism 2014

    1. 1. New Media Evangelism Dr Bex Lewis, Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning, CODEC, Durham University This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. http://www.slideshare.net/drbexl /dna-new-media-evangelism2014 For: http://www.dna-uk.org 
    2. 2. Let’s get to know each other…
    3. 3. https://twitter.com/drbexl
    4. 4. http://www.n ytimes.com/2 009/07/05/m agazine/05FO B-consumedt.html?ref=ma gazine
    5. 5. Image Credit: iStockphoto
    6. 6. http://www.wordnik.com/words/evangelism
    7. 7. Carl Medearis  Relax, enjoy your friends. Enjoy their company along with the company of Jesus. Point him out, freely, without fear or intimidation. You’re not responsible to sell him to them. You’re simply saying what you’ve seen. You're not the judge. You’re the witness.
    8. 8. Brennan Manning  The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny him by their life style. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
    9. 9. Image Credit: Seed Resources
    10. 10. Image Credit: Facebook Meme A sense of fun …
    11. 11. http://youtu.be/TXD-Uqx6_Wk
    12. 12. http://www.slideshare.net/drbexl/anoverview-of-social-media-january-2013
    13. 13. Image Credit: iStockphoto Communication & Relationships
    14. 14. Image Credit: Darren Hill Darren Hill, Seed Resources All these great Bible verses arrive on my feed without any context, background or explanation. As believers we are fine with this, we of course know the context to any text that appears online… don’t we? But what about everyone else? http://bigbible.org.uk/2012/11/postspromises-and-perennial-issues-darrenrhilldigidisciple/
    15. 15. How do you see this?
    16. 16. Image Credit: Durham University Rev Prof David Wilkinson God is a communicating God: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was God…”. God is extravagant in communication – he is not a silent God who has to be tempted into communicating with people.
    17. 17. http://www.wordnik.com/words/communicate
    18. 18. http://www.biblesummary.info
    19. 19. http://philmgreen.wordpress.com/2012/04/0 4/66-books-in-66-tweets/
    20. 20. http://bigbible.tumblr.com
    21. 21. http://pinterest.com/bigbible/bible-verses/
    22. 22. Image Credit: iStockPhoto NOT Virtual/Real
    23. 23. Human Beings at Machines, not “are machines” …
    24. 24. Finding a Voice: http://bigbible.org.uk
    25. 25. Who might read it?  God  Parents  ‘The kids’  The newspaper  Your worst enemy
    26. 26. Push/Pull  Care for others - genuinely  Know that the world doesn’t revolve around you  Be ‘remarkable’, be different  Earn the right to have others take notice of you  Be grateful if ONE person cares what you’re doing  Have something to say that matters  Do stuff that matters – make an impact  Strive to bring value to everyone you connect with  Be fantastically generous with our time, money, and kindness  Be outrageously committed to making the world better  It’s all about relationships – build & nurture them  Thanks @ianaspin (http://bigbible.org.uk/2010/10/the-eleven-commandments/)
    27. 27. Image Credits: Seed Resources/ @digitalfprint Authenticity
    28. 28. Image Credit: Seed Resources Our identity…  It is only out of this redeemed identity, out of who we are in Christ, that we can hope to bear fruit in the world.
    29. 29. Image Credit: Gary Collins website Gary Collins (Christian Life Coach)  If you're a Christian, seeking to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, you'll approach every aspect of your life from this perspective. Your commitment to Christ will impact your marriage, parenting, lifestyle, values, spending, time management, vocation ...
    30. 30. Image credit: http://j.mp/coffeelongtail The Long Tail
    31. 31. http://www.sayinggoodbye.org
    32. 32. http://bigbible.org.uk/2012/02/seeking-godonline-digidisciple-emmauk74/
    33. 33. A Sense of Community  Whilst I cannot conclude my thinking in a wholly positive way, I acknowledge that great use of all of this to my own personal discipleship. I am a broader Christian, a better informed Christian, a more readily supported and sustained Christian and for that I love this digital life. If that makes me a better Christian, then perhaps its purpose is served if a purpose exists and indeed if a purpose is needed. However, I shall continue to pray that someone, somewhere, can say with absolute clarity that because of this digital community, they came to Christ. @FrDavidCloake
    34. 34. Who is my neighbour?  What does it mean to ‘love your neighbour’ in a world in which a ‘friend’ might as easily be the kid from down the street you grew up with as a woman in Botswana whom you’ve never seen in person and only know in the context of Facebook status updates, photos, and notes?  Tweet if You Heart Jesus, p.xiv
    35. 35. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)  But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se arch=1+Peter+3%3A15&version=NIV
    36. 36. Timing …
    37. 37. https://www.youversion.com/bible/294/mat.5.13.cevuk
    38. 38. Image Credit: iStockPhoto What Biblical values do we want to see in our (digital) world?
    39. 39. Image Credit: Kezi What do the fruits of the spirit look like online?
    40. 40. Image Credit: Seed Resources What does it mean to share with grace?
    41. 41. http://bigbible.org.uk/2012/10/evangelismthrough-story/
    42. 42. Image Credit: iStockPhoto @drbexl @digitalfprint @bigbible http://www.slideshare.net/drbexl/dna-newmedia-evangelism-2014
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