Picture Worth a Thousand and One Words

Like seeing a mother holding a newborn baby and a rescue worker cradling a survivor, pictures have always had the ability to conjure up emotions deeper and more complex than they appear on the surface.  Now, QR codes have given us the ability to conjure up, not emotions and feelings, but tons of information.  Basically, they can show a thousand and one words!

Business meCard (as of 5/15/11)
Business meCard (as of 5/15/11)

Here is a QR code that contains my business/ministry information.  When you scan this image with your smartphone, you will receive the following information:

  • Douglas McClure
  • 229-435-1428
  • douglas_mcclure@uss.salvationarmy.org
  • http://salvationarmyalbany.org
  • 304 West 2nd Avenue Albany GA USA
  • Rank-Captain; Title-Corps Officer

I have outlined some various uses of QR codes and how they can be used for your church/ministry/small group, etc.  The subject links take you to a web site called QuickMark, which is what I use to generate QR codes on the computer.

  1. Web site – you can use this coding to direct people to a particular web site.  This can be used to advertise a special event or new group or a new teaching series or whatever else you want people’s attention drawn to.
  2. Bookmark – this coding provides a title and web site which can operate like a bookmark for your browser.
  3. Phone call – having this code will direct you to a phone number to be dialed.
  4. Send SMS – utilizing this QR code will send a text of whatever you write to whatever number you designate.  This could be used to let your teens or young adults respond with a response to a question, ie. vote on a movie, answer to a question, etc.
  5. Send email – same as the SMS coding.  This code will designate an email address, subject, and a message of your choice.  Same use as SMS.
  6. meCard – a meCard will include your name, phone number, email, url, text note, birthday, and address.  Include on a business card or flyer for a program to provide a contact.
  7. vCard – the vCard encoding operates like the meCard, but contains more information and is more universally recognized on systems.  Same use as meCard.
  8. Text – this QR code is a free text field.  This could be a quick shout about a lesson/sermon, a message to your members, or note of encouragement.

    Scan this for a special message for you!
  9. Location – you can utilize a QR code to specify an actual location.

There are various smartphone QR code readers for iOS (Apple), Android, and RIM (Blackberry).

However you use these codes to help your ministry, remember that although they can include a thousand and one words, make sure they are the thousand and one words you want people to see from you!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saving time through Phone Apps! Thanks to @wbrucemoore

Saving time through Phone Apps!.

Here is a quick post from Bruce at 1year2live.com.  He outlines three phone apps that he uses on a regular basis to help him with his studies and preparation.  He stresses the time-saving nature of these apps and how they help him.

You can follow Bruce Moore on Twitter at: Bruce Moore  His Facebook page is here.

Along with these apps, I wanted to quickly add a couple of my own which are extremely helpful in my work:

Please comment and add more if you have some!

From other viewers:

Soli Deo Gloria!

10 tips for using Twitter if you're new to it from @digitalchrist

10 tips for using Twitter if you’re new to it.

Here is a great post that was written for people new to Twitter, but also a nice refresher for those who have been using it awhile.

Take my advice when it comes to social media!  People follow people!  Pay attention to tip #7 about getting a good picture of yourself as your avatar.

If you are interested in getting deeper into social media for your ministry of group, you might want to check out developing a Gravatar.  A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar that “graphically” speaks out who you are.  It can be a cartoon you, you in a movie, you at work, you with someone famous, etc.  But, it needs to be you!  People will think your kids are cute, but they might never see the pictures if they have no idea whose avatar it is!  I also do not recommend changing your avatar/profile picture to support a cause.  Shout out, tweet up, post all about it!  But, once again, if someone has no idea who you are, they might not listen!

Listen up, my tweeps!  Rule #1 for social media is like the answer on how to get to Carnegie Hall.  Practice, practice, practice!  Try something new!  Post it a different way!  Catch people’s eye!

If I can use the inspiration of the Lord in the NDV (New Doug Version):

Repost online always. I will say it again: Repost! (found in SocialMinistry 4:4)

My “blasphemy” aside, be consistent!  Share yourself!  More importantly, share who Jesus is through you!

Can I get a “retweet”?  Holla!

10 tips for using Twitter if you’re new to it from @digitalchrist

10 tips for using Twitter if you’re new to it.

Here is a great post that was written for people new to Twitter, but also a nice refresher for those who have been using it awhile.

Take my advice when it comes to social media!  People follow people!  Pay attention to tip #7 about getting a good picture of yourself as your avatar.

If you are interested in getting deeper into social media for your ministry of group, you might want to check out developing a Gravatar.  A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar that “graphically” speaks out who you are.  It can be a cartoon you, you in a movie, you at work, you with someone famous, etc.  But, it needs to be you!  People will think your kids are cute, but they might never see the pictures if they have no idea whose avatar it is!  I also do not recommend changing your avatar/profile picture to support a cause.  Shout out, tweet up, post all about it!  But, once again, if someone has no idea who you are, they might not listen!

Listen up, my tweeps!  Rule #1 for social media is like the answer on how to get to Carnegie Hall.  Practice, practice, practice!  Try something new!  Post it a different way!  Catch people’s eye!

If I can use the inspiration of the Lord in the NDV (New Doug Version):

Repost online always. I will say it again: Repost! (found in SocialMinistry 4:4)

My “blasphemy” aside, be consistent!  Share yourself!  More importantly, share who Jesus is through you!

Can I get a “retweet”?  Holla!

Church Leaders Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Social Media

Original source article located here: http://dashhouse.com/2011/04/pastors-and-social-media/

Dashhouse.com released a post about pastors and social media.  In this post, the question is raised concerning interaction between pastors and church members online.

I think that avoidance of these virtual relationships is impossible and ill-advised.  I think that we ignore social media at our own risk!

In October of 2010, Mashable reported that the average teen texts 3,339 times a month.  Beyond teens, the average 18-24 year-old in the same report texts 1,630 times a month.  In January of 2010, Nielsen reported that the average person is on Facebook approximately 7 hours a month.  In January of 2011, Pew Research found that more Internet users than non-Internet users are inclined to belong to social groups and organizations.  So, the old story that people online are less likely to engage in outside social activities is not true.  So, based on these few reports alone, it seems that if the church universal wants to remain a driving force today then we must engage!

Joel Diaz, a youth minister, says that social media is very important in keeping in contact with his student members.  “And, you can quote me on that,” Joel added.

Bryan Haynes said, “social media is the most efficient and expedient means of external communication with our students.”

By the way, I got both of these comments from them through Twitter.

Dashhouse offers some good questions to consider concerning your online relationships.  I have included them here along with some of my own thoughts.

  • When interacting with members electronically am I using electronic communication and social media to enhance their life or to satisfy a personal need?  Good question.
  • What are my reasons for sharing this information with a congregant – are they professional or are they personal?
  • Is this picture or comment something I would be comfortable with my members, their parents/guardians, my supervisor, my family or the media seeing?
  • Would my peers or supervisors consider what I have posted as reasonable and professional?
  • Would I communicate this way in my community?
  • Are the photos, videos or audio recordings I am posting susceptible to misrepresentation or manipulation?  These days Photoshop manipulates all.  The most innocent pictures can be twisted.
  • Am I keeping current in my awareness and knowledge of social media technology developments to protect myself from misuse?  Here we go!  This is #1 in my book!

Based on these questions and some other work, I want to propose the following five steps to consider in online interactions.  And, then all start with “tr” for your mnemonic benefit!

  1. TRAINING – you need to know what is going on!  You need to know what the difference in cc and bcc, post and tweet, rss subscriptions vs. email subscriptions, viral (good) and virus (bad), which kind of cookies to eat, “what my lawyer means by DRM”, etc.  A good place to start is Tech Terms and NetLingo.
  2. TRUTH – just because someone types it, it doesn’t make it true!  When you find information online can it be cross-referenced in other studies and is it a reputable company.  In the earlier part of this post I quoted from Mashable, Nielsen, and Pew Research.  All three of these sources are well-known and are heavily used to authenticate.
  3. TRUST – or I should say things you can trust to happen!  If it is “out there” someone will find it.  There is no such thing as completely deletable.  Privacy settings are like locks on doors.  They are only for honest people!  Code-blocking, IP-masking, private browsers, DNS-redirects will keep out the honest people.  But, a good hacker can work through all of that!  A random Google search can bring many things to light!  If you do not trust any of these, trust this!  If you do not want everyone on the internet to see something, do not put it on the internet!
  4. TRANSPARENCY – does it matter who sees what you are posting?  People online need a huge dose of WWJP (What Would Jesus Post)!  Is this picture or comment something I would be comfortable with my members,  parents/guardians, my supervisor, my family or the media seeing?  Is it true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8 NLT)?  Notice here that Scripture says “and” and not “or”.  It needs to be all of those things, not just best 3 out of 6!
  5. TRIUMPH – the world needs “tweeters” for Jesus.  We need Facebook to love someone across the country who has lost a family member!  We need Scripture posted from here to eternity on every social media available.  Not used in condemnation, but in encouragement!  The Bible is the sword of the Spirit.  It is used against evil spirits not evil people!  Share your struggles, don’t post your criticisms!

The following video was published in 2009.  As of May 8, 2011, it has had 2,762,983 views.  Imagine what today’s numbers would reflect!


Here are some of my thoughts, comment with some of yours!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Twitter vs. Facebook: Round 1

Written by Lindsey Fleeman

Ding. Ding.

I love Twitter.  There…I said it.  I might even dare to say (though I’ve only had a personal twitter account for a week) that I may love twitter more than Facebook.  OK, I was just joking on that one, but seriously, Twitter has some good pros that all should look into.  Firstly, with Twitter you can follow anyone in the world, which really helps one keep up not only with their friends, but with celebrities, magazines, companies, and funny people they don’t even know.  Unlike Facebook, there is no stigma attached to users who update their “status” every other minute. AND, there’s no pressure or bad feelings if no one responds to your tweets.  Whereas on Facebook, I always feel like a loser if my profile page is full of nothing but my own status updates.  No comments on Facebook to me is a sad day.  But you see on twitter, it’s not really expected that reply to anyone.  Nice, sure, especially when someone with 1,000 followers responds to you, but it’s not expected.

Next: Twitter knows everything.  Seriously.  If it’s happening in the world, Twitter knows first.  And you can follow news sources on Twitter, which will help you trust the outlandish tweets…like Obama is an American Citizen (though I am pretty sure that they checked on that before he ran guys…).  For a person who doesn’t read news blogs, or watch the news on TV, or read it in the newspaper, Twitter is quite a reliable and fast alternative, often pointing me towards articles that I can read for self-betterment.

I’m sure this is a discussion I will continue in other entries, but come on.  Both Facebook and Twitter are awesome, but in the end it comes down to the fact that I love rooting for the underdog.  And come on, the real reason people aren’t on Twitter is because they don’t really understand what it’s all about. Check it out folks, test the water, but in the end, I’m pretty sure you’ll end up seeing things the way I do.

by Lindsey Fleeman

Happy Birthday, TSAMTK.org! – Online Resources

Original article from http://www.SouthernSpiritOnline.orghttp://www.southernspiritonline.org/featured-news/mtk-celebrates-its-first-birthday/

This May, The Salvation Army’s Minsitry Toolkit (MTK) will be celebrating it’s 1st birthday!

MTK provides graphics, programs, sermons, devotionals, audio clips, video clips, and links to find more information.  Most of the content that MTK is hosting and will host in the future is uploaded by its’ users.

While obviously marketed towards Salvation Army programs, MTK offers a variety of resources that could be used by small groups and other congregations.

Lindsey Fleeman is the mastermind behind this amazing service and really puts her heart, soul, and even her sweat and tears into this project.

I highly recommend this resource to users and encourage you to share your creations with MTK!

Give them a visit at www.tsamtk.org and see what you can use today!

SermonGeneral Out!!

It’s all about.me

For those of you who know me well, I am sure the title came as a complete shock.  Wow!  Talking about himself again.  Surprisingly, it is difficult for me to always present myself to others and to make myself available to others.

In the business world, we have business cards.  Business cards actually date back to 15th century China.  It was originally used when someone went to “call” on another person.  It announced who they were and, in the event that the person they were visiting was not available, it served as a physical reminder of the visit.

As technology moves forward, we see many different varieties and formats of business cards.  From laminated to tent-fold to holographic, the business card has started to say as much about the kind of person it represents as what they do.  In 1995, the Versit Consortium, which consisted of Apple, AT&T Technologies (later Lucent), IBM and Siemens, introduced the “vCard.”  The vCard, also referenced as .vcf, was to become the standard for electronic/digital business cards.  It was a short file which could include name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips.

While vCards are still in use in many companies, the advent of web-enabled, graphic-enhanced phones and wireless laptops with great video displays has birthed a new form of digital business card.

http://about.me/douglasmcclure

This screenshot is taken from my about.me page at http://about.me/douglasmcclure.  The about.me service is highly customizable and did I tell you it was FREE!  That’s right, free!  They did not even have a form of upgrading available that I could tell!

Your about.me has placeholders for your name and biographical information.  It also has places for links to your social networking connections.  This can act like a launching pad to everywhere that you are on the web!

You can place it in your email signatures like this:

Soli Deo Gloria,

Douglas McClure

http://about.me/douglasmcclure

Sent from my iPad

or even include it in your Twitter and Facebook profiles.

There is room for websites about you and about what you do and what you care about!  It can be, and should be, updated as your life changes!  You can customize the background and even the size and type of font.

It took me about 15 minutes to set up and after publishing, it can tell you how many visits and people have looked at it.

Just another way to help you drive more traffic to what is going on!

SermonGeneral out!!

It's all about.me

For those of you who know me well, I am sure the title came as a complete shock.  Wow!  Talking about himself again.  Surprisingly, it is difficult for me to always present myself to others and to make myself available to others.

In the business world, we have business cards.  Business cards actually date back to 15th century China.  It was originally used when someone went to “call” on another person.  It announced who they were and, in the event that the person they were visiting was not available, it served as a physical reminder of the visit.

As technology moves forward, we see many different varieties and formats of business cards.  From laminated to tent-fold to holographic, the business card has started to say as much about the kind of person it represents as what they do.  In 1995, the Versit Consortium, which consisted of Apple, AT&T Technologies (later Lucent), IBM and Siemens, introduced the “vCard.”  The vCard, also referenced as .vcf, was to become the standard for electronic/digital business cards.  It was a short file which could include name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips.

While vCards are still in use in many companies, the advent of web-enabled, graphic-enhanced phones and wireless laptops with great video displays has birthed a new form of digital business card.

http://about.me/douglasmcclure

This screenshot is taken from my about.me page at http://about.me/douglasmcclure.  The about.me service is highly customizable and did I tell you it was FREE!  That’s right, free!  They did not even have a form of upgrading available that I could tell!

Your about.me has placeholders for your name and biographical information.  It also has places for links to your social networking connections.  This can act like a launching pad to everywhere that you are on the web!

You can place it in your email signatures like this:

Soli Deo Gloria,

Douglas McClure

http://about.me/douglasmcclure

Sent from my iPad

or even include it in your Twitter and Facebook profiles.

There is room for websites about you and about what you do and what you care about!  It can be, and should be, updated as your life changes!  You can customize the background and even the size and type of font.

It took me about 15 minutes to set up and after publishing, it can tell you how many visits and people have looked at it.

Just another way to help you drive more traffic to what is going on!

SermonGeneral out!!

Top 5 ways to attract more followers on social networking

Social Networking 101: Top 5 ways to attract more followers on social networking outlets – KansasCity.com.

The above article was come across the other day and I immediately saw some advantages for ministries, churches, group, and the like.  I am reviewing it here with a spin towards those groups.

  1. Make sure your social ministry contacts are where people can see them.  All of your landing pages should point to other places where more can be found out about you.  Don’t just share your personal places, but share the places where your group gathers, Facebook, websites, Flickr, etc.
  2. Whether it is Lotus Notes, emails, newsletters, even publications, share your social ministry locations.  Also, quick reminder: you friend people on Facebook and follow people on Twitter.
  3. Mix and match your social ministry outlets.  Tell people to follow you on Twitter and remind your fellow tweeters about your Facebook pages.
  4. Just because it is in print, it does not mean you cannot share social ministry locations.  Showing web addresses and using QR codes is a good way to link the physical with the virtual.
  5. Make your content valuable and followable and shareable.  Whether it is devotional thoughts, program ideas, pastoral tips, visitation experiences, write about what is true, but what is interesting to others.  A blogger who blogs without anyone reading it is writing an electronic diary!

I hope these tips can help you develop the online presence of your group.

SermonGeneral Out!!