church should be ONLINE
At the outset I wish to pour out extravagant praise for my wonderful host Meredith Gould. Her sacrifice of time, spirit and knowledge was above and beyond generous and I cannot thank her enough. Meredith you are a blessing to so many; an angel with a Doctorate; the Queen of Twitter and the fairy godmother of #chsocm (and you’re not scary at all IRL).
Enough of that – this is what happened when I went to meet the wizard…
After #BreakingBread broke up I awaited my host. It was like standing in line at a big concert – waiting for your heroes to take the stage – I felt like a little kid waiting for a chance to meet Santa – I was about to meet the great Meredith Gould. I’d got to Oz and the wizard was coming!!
Every car that went past, was it her? Every helicopter that went over, was that her? Eventually the moment came, a fleet of cars with flashing blue lights pulled up and in a crowd of groupies and hangers on I glimpsed her; the security detail arrived; my ID was checked; I was about to meet….
Actually it didn’t happen like that – a little car pulled up and out jumped Meredith with a huge, welcoming smile on her face. I didn’t know what I expected, but just like Harry Potter’s exam results, Meredith exceeds expectations. Bright, warm, vibrant and amazingly down to earth (for a guru) she is brilliant!!!
That evening and the whole of the next day passed in a storm of talk, laughter, fun and learning (well for me it did – for Meredith it must have been a tirade of inane questions, daft comments, and patient teaching). We went through everything church media related- the website, the blog, the Facebook and Twitter pages, Instagram and Pinterest – content, design, layout, colours. Meredith’s expertise and knowledge were as freely given as her smiles and humour.
I’ve been into the inner sanctum, I’ve even touched her computer, I’ve walked the yellow brick road and I’ve seen behind the wizard’s curtain and it is more magical and amazing than Oz could ever be – but it’s not the set up that makes it so great, as with everything on this trip, it’s the person.
All joking and hyperbole aside – all I can say is thank you Meredith, I hope I can do justice to all you taught me.
Before I left for this trip I was asked the question “Is being online and active in Social Media a real part of the ministry of the church?”
I didn’t answer it then, but I think I can now: “In this digital age it is practically impossible to have a church ministry without being online.” Online ministry through social media is not, and I don’t think it ever will be, the whole work of the church but it will now never not be an important part. And thanks to David and Meredith and members of the fantastic #chsocm (church and social media) community I now feel better equipped to keep venturing out into the modern digital world with the Gospel message that is as relevant now as it was 2,000 years ago.