From Jeff Goins: Why Taking a Break from Technology is Sometimes Necessary

Why Taking a Break from Technology is Sometimes Necessary.

I found this article from Jeff Goins to be very timely in my own situation.

Please read his article, but here is some of the high points.

Lesson 1: Embrace your surroundings

While Jeff was “suffering” through Ireland and I am currently not, the beauty of God and His creation is all around us. While I am not usually the person who finds the beauty and joy in the worst places, I am someone who acknowledges that my heavenly Father is there with me. His presence, His glory, His joy makes somewhere, anywhere, beautiful!

Lesson 2: Embrace your inner life

Jeff mentions that the trip gave him the opportunity to “think, pray, and reflect.” A break from technology for me also allows me to meditate. And, yes, I know that there are negative connotations to the idea of meditation. Apparently, someone did not think so in the Bible. We are to “meditate of His word, day and night.”  Let’s not harp over translations or interpretations! Let’s agree that the idea is to focus, concentrate, can I even say obsess over the things of God.

Lesson 3: Embrace inspiration from other sources

While I have not been writing or creating long, I have already fallen into one of the easiest traps.  As soon as I started writing, I stopped reading and listening.  As soon as I stopped reading and listening, I started running out of things to say!

If I may be so bold, I would add another important lesson for me.  Jeff touches on it several times but for me it becomes almost Lesson 0!

Lesson 4: Embrace others!

Starting with my family and friends, I have become better at managing my relationships instead of enjoying them.  I have become better acquainted with their email addresses than their names.  Texting has replaced calling!  Emailing has replaced writing!  “Facebook”-ing or “Twitter”-ing has replaced “care”-ing!  (Yes, I know.  I spelled it wrong to prove a point!)

Once again, take a moment and read Jeff’s post.

Top 5 ways to attract more followers on social networking

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

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!!

Presence Evangelism in Networking

If you have been involved with social networking for any length of time, you have probably come across one of these services.  The four services represent a myriad of GPS-enabled apps that can let people know where you are.

The most well-known is Facebook Places.  On the rise in many metro areas is Foursquare.  Lacking some of the social connection aspects, Google Places has been a market fixture for a while in many different forms.  My new favorite is Soundtracking.  Not only can you “post/tweet” where you are, but you can tell everyone what music you are listening to.

As you can tell, I am currently rocking a little Marty Mikles and transMission’s new album, “Majestic” (

All of these apps give a user the opportunity to show where they are and what they may be doing within the confines and purposes of the app.  Foursquare even turns this process into a game.  Whomever is checked into a “place” becomes the Mayor.  Some retailers have started giving special discounts to the current “Mayors.”  I am still the Mayor of the Albany Salvation Army which does not get me any discounts,  Geesh!

All of these GPS-enabled apps can help ministers and leaders by simply showing where that person is.  It is a concept that is becoming known as “Presence Evangelism.”

Presence evangelism is not so much verbal persuasion, but action persuasion through deeds, good works, sincere love and friendship.  To put it another way, it is the Church being Christ’s arms reaching out into the community. Christ’s love is shared through the examples of serving, caring and helping the community’s needs.

Presence evangelism goes beyond saying you are going to do something or go somewhere to actually doing something and going somewhere.  By utilizing effectively some of these apps, a minister/leader/guide can show people where they are and how they are making an impact in the community.  It shows where they are ministering at and with whom.  One of the things that Jesus did very well was being with His disciples.  He ate with them, laughed with them, partied with them, and traveled with them.

Would it hurt you to show people where you are today and how you are making a difference in your community and in the kingdom?

SAFETY NOTE: As with any programs, there are situations that are not always true all of the time.  I would discourage you from revealing too much about the location and activities in certain areas, ie. counseling people, your own home, who you are visiting in the hospital, etc.  Using your best judgment is often the best step you can take!

SermonGeneral Out!