Social Media – all about RELATIONSHIPS… and as this week we re-address the question of our most central relationship, and how that plays out in community – let’s start by getting to know each other as if we are on Twitter. 30 seconds each way to seek to “find connections” – other than Jesus/Christianity – part of philosophy to focus on what we have in common, rather than what might divide us… So how many have cats? What hobbies do you have in common? What family circumstances? What kind of connections are you making … is how the online world works, so as we seek to focus upon‘Be, Say, Do’ – let’s consider how we can reconnet with The Source online… Image purchased from iStockphoto
To those of you who are not familiar with Twitter – it’s a series of 140 character messages which gives great opportunities to connect/build relationships with those who are interested in similar things to you. Image: Screenshot
The same as when you first meet someone face-to-face – we’re all looking for points of reference that we can talk about – a variation of this one tends to work for me – if I wear the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ t-shirt, people start talking to me (claim to fame…!) http://www.redbubble.com/people/otbphotography/works/6942944-keep-calm-and-tweet-on?p=t-shirt
Today’s key verse suggested by Spring Harvest is … are we SEEING, HEARING, EXPERIENCING… if not .. If we’re not being refilled from the source, how can we share with others (in any space?)
“ In the beginning was the word, and the word was God…” He wants to communicate with us (2-way)…what do Jesus’ teaching then mean for our lives today? Image taken from Durham University website.
Jesus wants a transformative relationship with us… and he gives himself to us as an example [WWJD]
… it may be hard work – but as training as a coach has taught me – there’s nowhere to start but here. As a historian I could demonstrate that you are a product of your time, geography, class, culture, etc… every interaction that we have has the potential to be transformative – and I’m keen on online interactions, but what are those conversations based in?
He gives us the tools to do so in the Bible, and here in the Western world we have many translations, etc.. Image Credit: Seed Resources
… and now we have another raft of tools to work with in the Bible online Image Source: Ministry Best Practice Blog
We may look at some of the tools in the process of this session, but if you want to look at a presentation I did earlier this year – we look at some the range of ways in which we can now access the Bible…
… overview options – including the entire Bible around 9200 characters – 66 books in 140 characters each…
… or if you want to go even less, try getting it down to 12 words … this was the challenge set by SGM Lifewords for 2011 … encouraging people to use their imaginations to re-engage with the Bible – to come to KNOW it inside … rather than intellectually… which is what we’re seeking to do here … and the online gives lots of creative ways to allow us – whatever our learning styles – to engage with the Bible in a way that’s more than “sit & listen” ..
One of note – 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)…
… one of my favourites of which is Pinterest – a site which has grown enormously in the last 14-15 months. It allows you to “pin” images that you’ve found on the internet onto a ‘virtual pinboard’ … and there are multiple beautiful images of Bible verses.. Great for someone like me, who thinks visually!
One of the images that I have ‘pinned’ in the past as part of #BigRead13, where we’re been re-reading the Narnia stories in the light of Rowan Williams ‘The Lion’s World’ encourages us to remember that we see everything else in our world through the lens of Christianity … a worldview being “The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.” Image Source: http://iheartinspiration.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/I-believe-in-Christianity-as-I-believe-that-the-sun-has-risen-not-only-because-I-see-it-but-because-by-it-I-see-everything-else-1.jpg
What does it mean to keep the Cross at the centre of our thinking? Image: http://www.seedresources.com/view/images/montage-cross
Something that those of you on Twitter may observe is people sharing Bible verses… and many are short enough to fit under the 140 character limit, and software such as YouVersion (the Bible app) encourage you to do this… though I tend only to do this if I’m tweeting a #sermon… [beware Vicarbots?] partly because…
Darren, who until recently worked for Scripture Union … asked strong questions on the Big Bible site – what is the VALUE of these tweets – to ourselves and to others … and that this is not a NEW thing … his mother used to keep a box with single verses in it that she’d pull out on a (bad) day … a modern/faster/more shareable way of that…
… along with the speed is more responsibility … we need to highlight the word SOCIAL in social media – so many focus on the ‘technology’ of it, but it’s about the relationships, the conversations [people always asking me about fixing computers – not my thing – learn as much as I need to… !] We need to ground ourselves more … so that being confident in what we believe, we are able to explain to others without decontextualised Bible bashing … and I speak as a non-academically trained theologian.
Remember… and shouting louder/more persistently – does it achieve it? Does it make people want to engage with the Bible? Come back to that in ‘say’..
These days there are much better returns on the words ‘Jesus’ or ‘Bible’ on Google (although be aware search results are personalised somewhat) than when we first started – when atheist or fundamentalist rants were all that were available…
You’ll see that majority of images of Jesus are stereotypical…
… so we can go off and look elsewhere… ask others we trust… recommendation economy – it’s what many are doing… are we amongst those that our friends trust, or do our words/actions not seem to reflect the Jesus that we avow to follow?
All of the above assumes that people will be actively looking, but many aren’t … they don’t know that they need to look… 24/7 Christianity – no sacred/secular divide – show people that you are fully human … The joy of ‘being’ real – let people see your whole life – Christ at the centre, but participate in the life he’s given us on earth. E.g. Use an app to check in at church, but check in at the gym/the pub too, etc.. http://www.seedresources.com/view/images/identity-in-christ
How do we find the gospel online? In people’s blogs, etc. In people’s stories … Question of whether ‘ better together ’ – and we deliberately want to send people off elsewhere … or whether encourage people in their own spaces…
We got the critique that we were discussing people discussing the Bible more than the Bible itself – and keen for Biblical literacy as well as digital literacy – we started encouraging #digidisciple(s) to be ‘inspired by’ each book the Bible - seek to connect with info outside it – there’s a wealth, how do we talk to each other about this?
If you’ve not used Bible Gateway – great way to look at a range of translations (even side by side) … also YouVersion – most downloaded mobile app – both in over 100 translations…
See here the obvious verse triggering all of these thoughts – in 3 different versions… how can we be ready? What do you read into the specific wording… wait to be asked or… ?
Piece of card to be thinking about, and contribute to a basket at the end … [Digitally share?]
And what about disagreements between Christians… especially in Biblical interpretation? http://www.seedresources.com/view/images/stripes-of-colour
We want to be salt & light in the world – how are we to be different – we’ll look at this more tomorrow, but there’s a good opportunity to look to the Bible for the kinds of behaviours we want to see online, the aspects of our lives, and our Christian lives that we want to highlight (including the difficulties!)
You may have seen last week this post by Giles Fraser, which certainly caused somewhat of a stir on Twitter/Facebook around me (that’s how I knew about it) … Comment is Free is designed to be polemical really… drawing a range of responses via Twitter, Facebook and people feeling stirred up to create a blog post, and by Sat evening there were over 300 comments – some feeling that he’d been ‘ungracious’, created a ‘straw man’, etc… some responding in kind, some seeking to demonstrate grace, some holding back until their first anger had passed, etc.. Others thought it was on the right track – we can’t be like ‘Ned Flanders’…
Here are notes from only a couple of days before where we’d discussed what made for good (Christian) conversation online, and how we would deal with disagreements…
DISCUSS – Think of issues that have divided the church – how can we present a more united response – Biblically & practically? How would we go back to The Source to be more confident without bible bashing? http://www.seedresources.com/view/images/live-the-word-b-w-small
POST IT NOTES OR FLIPCHART? Integrity (own comments “I feel, etc.) Self-control (consider consequences of interpretation – inc revisited later) Patience (expectations for response times) Authenticity (consistent to “you”) Trust (information can be out there, don’t speak on others behalf unless permission) Non-manipulative (audience aware, do someone down, bad spin; “If you love Jesus share this”) Respect (encounter different opinions – think through reactions); Good Manners; not ‘entitled’ to respect – respect others first.. Treat as you expect to be treated “ Freedom of Speech” – think carefully; Libel Self-awareness – context; read differently – can you “hear” tone of voice Don’t press “send” in anger … Kindness – encourage online, messages of support Transparency – do we know the source of all this… Aliases? Who’s saying what? Accountability. Who are they?
Final word – remember – there is always a human being at the other end of the keyboard… think before you type… Questions?
Spring Harvest 2013: 31st March: The Source
This work is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported License. 31 March: THE SOURCE st http://j.mp/clickzone1 Dr Bex Lewis Director: Digital Fingerprint; The Big Bible Project Research Fellow in Social Media & Online Learning, CODEC, University of Durham
Let’s “tweet” each Image Credit: iStockphotoother…
Image Credit: Redbubble.com“Getting people talking…”
Key Verse for Today:“We saw it, we hear it, and nowwe’re telling you so you canexperience it along with us, thisexperience of communion with theFather and his Son, Jesus Christ”1 John 1:3 (MSG)
Image Credit: Durham UniversityRev Prof David WilkinsonGod is a communicatingGod: “In the beginningwas the word”.God is extravagant incommunication – he isnot a silent God who hasto be tempted intocommunicating withpeople.
Jesus: The Source• Christians believe God has spoken clearly, unmissably and uniquely in the person of Jesus. We believe the story of our universe only makes sense if Jesus is the centre of it. Through the promise, life, death, resurrection, ascension and return of Christ, the meaning and purpose of our universe and our lives are made known. God is not a silent creature, He is the speaking creator. http://www.eauk.org/church/campaigns/confidence-in-the-gospel/a-faithful-gospel/a-faithful-g
Jesus: The Word• It is who Jesus is, not just what he taught, that changes everything ‘Jesus is not only an utterer of the word,’ Walter Bruggeman says, ‘but is himself the uttered word. That is, Jesus’s own person is God’s word of life, which shatters all idolatrous forms of life and makes new community possible.”• Gerard Kelly Church Actually: Rediscovering the Brilliance of God’s Plan 2011
Transformed Living…• The reason why some Christians are so constipated, miserable, judgmental, misogynistic, religious and up tight is that they were like that before they became Christians!• Roger Ellis Essence: The Manifesto of Jesus 2012
Image Credit:Seed ResourcesWe are rich in translations…
Image Credit: Ministry Best Practice Blog… and rich in means to access
https://plus.google.com/+nytimes/posts"On average, verses in the King JamesVersion are about 100 characters long,leaving room to slip in a #bible hashtagand still come in under the 140-character limit”e.g. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/short-inspirational-bible-verses.html
Image Credit: Darren HillDarren 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/posts- promises-and-perennial-issues- darrenrhill-digidisciple/
The Bible Onlinehttp://www.biblegateway.com http://www.youversion.com/
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/? search=1+Peter+3%3A15&version=NIV
1 Peter 3:15 (The Message)• Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath.• http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/? search=1+Peter+3%3A15&version=MSG
1 Peter 3:15 (The Voice)• …but exalt Him as Lord in your heart. Always be ready to offer a defense, humbly and respectfully, when someone asks why you live in hope. Keep your conscience clear so that those who ridicule your good conduct in the Anointed and say bad things about you will be put to shame• http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/? search=1+Peter+3%3A15&version=VOICE
Image Credit: iStockPhotoTHINK: What verses give you hope?