Someone I don’t know followed me on Twitter the other day. I felt a little bad for them. I am bad at Twitter. I am not great at Facebook either but that’s a whole other blog. If you know me and follow me on Twitter, I don’t feel bad for you. You should know better. But I do feel crummy for people who follow me hoping for something meaningful or inspirational to be tweeted because of my churchy job title. One of my last tweets was about cereal – neither meaningful nor inspirational.
Now, I have read all that stuff about how to leverage social media to build my platform and get my message out. And I know some people who are pretty good at this – well at least pretty good at doing what the articles and experts tell you to do in order to raise awareness and extend your reach. But I do wonder how effective it all is. I know I don’t read it all.
Just to be clear, this isn’t some anti-technology stand. Nor is it some sort of “look how cool I am because I don’t use social media” rant. I’m just not big on building my platform. I am big on pointing people towards God. And helping churches be as healthy and effective as they can be. And listening to people and helping them where I can. I have all day for that stuff.
Maybe I just haven’t figured out how to use Twitter to do those things. Or maybe it’s that what I want to say about these important things can’t (and shouldn’t) be boiled down to 140 characters. And maybe they are too important to risk getting lost in a bunch or rants and cat pictures. Maybe I need to actually be face to face with people to have these important conversations or the technology that allows for extended conversations.
Social media is fine. It has its place. But let’s not tweet a couple of thoughts or put up a post and feel like we have done all we can for the Kingdom. We still need to sit face to face with people and listen and talk and point to God. We still need to be deeply immersed in people’s lives so that God can use us. That will always be the most effective way of communicating the important things. We were created for community, not just virtual community. And community (or sharing life) needs to involve more than just us sharing our selfies and favorite quotes.
So follow me on Twitter if you must. But be warned, it’s not all that exciting. And be my friend on Facebook if you really need to see pictures of my family or get my random musings. But, if you really want to talk about important things, give me a call. Or Skype me. Or best of all, let me buy you a coffee. Our platforms may not grow, but what we get accomplished will.
Director of Church Health, the Free Methodist Church in Canada