How to start a social media conversation about what God is doing in your church
Spiritual-growth campaigns have always been a powerful way to move a church forward. But now, with the rapid adoption of social media by people in the pews, there’s never been a greater opportunity to create, stimulate and propagate a conversation among your people about what God is doing in their midst. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a myriad of other online social networks are examples of how technology is helping our culture catch up with God’s original plan for His good news to be carried via interpersonal communication.
God’s good news spreads farthest and fastest through personal connections and conversations. But because growth happens with intentional focus, you will need a strategy for empowering people to further the conversation with their friends—whether you are simply beginning a new message series or launching a full-blown campaign on the scale of “What on Earth Am I Here For?”
Here are some strategic actions to consider:
I am troubled by the black church's lack of response to the down-low epidemic.
There is no doubt in my mind that it's God's will for homosexuals to be set free from same-sex attraction. I preach Jesus and His saving power, and I know complete healing is possible. But as an African-American pastor, I am deeply troubled by the black church's lack of response to an epidemic called the "down-low," a term used to describe men involved in closet homosexuality, but who pretend to be heterosexual.
In fact, one of the biggest obstacles to reaching gay men with the gospel is the prevalence of "down-low" activity among leaders.
In an online article titled "God, Gays and the Black Church," gay author Herndon L. Davis addresses the issue:
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez will be the first Latino leader to serve as the keynote speaker for for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Service.
The special event which serves to observes the civil rights movement leader's birthday, will be held on Monday. King Center CEO Bernice A. King called Rodriguez an “electrifying orator and “one of the most dynamic and inspiring proponents of the social gospel in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), turned down a request to participate in President Obama's inaugural services in order to speak at the event, which is the nation's 'flagship' ecumenical religious observance on the MLK holiday.
As a little boy raised in the church, I was often confused by the words of certain songs. For instance, whenever the song “Bringing in the Sheaves” was sung, I thought we were singing about bringing in the “sheeps.” I always wondered where we would get these “sheeps” and why we wanted to bring them in anyway. Spiritual themes, whether spoken or sung, can easily confuse the simple mind of a child; and while I learned quite early that “sheeps” is not even a word, the topic of God’s will continued to be a point of confusion for a long time.
I remember another song we used to sing, usually after a missionary had told depressing stories about the hardships and toils of the mission field: “Jesus, use me / Oh, Lord, don’t refuse me / Surely there’s a work that I must do / And even though it’s humble, help my will to crumble / Though the cost be great, I’ll work for You.”
As wonderful as those words are in and of themselves, there was something about the combination of the lyrics, the music and the context that made me afraid of God’s will for my life. I thought He must have something simply dreadful for me to do. I just knew He was going to send me deep into the jungle where I would live in a mud hut, survive on a diet of grubs and wind up being eaten by cannibals.
1. Preach to Yourself
When God has asked me to do something that seems impossible for me, I have to preach to myself to defeat the fear and uncertainty that try to control me.
2. Don't Quit
In a relationship? In business? In reaching your personal goals? Will you give in to fear of failure and quit trying? The important thing to remember when you fail is not to quit. History shows that failure can actually become a catalyst to propel you to success.
3. Take Courage
You have to have courage against all odds. You have to be willing to face down frightening voices and take a risk to move forward into your destiny. You cannot give into the spirit of timidity and draw back when times get tough.