Category Archives: social media

Social Media Does The Body Good!


The way we interact today isn’t like it was in the old days.  Back in the “good ol’ days” people would talk to each other using their mouths and eyes, not their computers, websites and fancy smartphones.  The way we connect, communicate and interact seems to be changing constantly at a blinding speed.  The minute I catch up with one thing, I’ve already got to learn a new one.

Fortunately for me, I actually enjoy the social media fad.  I’m on most major social media platforms.  I enjoy connecting with new people and catching up with people from my past.  Social media has completely changed the landscape of communication.

I want to speak specifically to those who are involved in ministry for a minute.

You may or may not like social media.  It may be something you naturally connect with or you might look at it and be completely baffled as to why anyone would get involved with such craziness.  I’m here to tell you something; your ministry needs social media.  Trust me, it does the “Body” good.

Adam Carriker

Adam Carriker

This is Adam Carriker.  He is a former Nebraska Cornhusker, stand out defensive lineman and Blackshirt.  He is a current Washington Redskin, right in my backyard.  I follow Adam on Twitter and am a “friend” on Facebook, mostly for selfish reasons (to keep up with Husker players).  However, this connection would prove to be extremely fruitful.

At our Campus in Haymarket, Virginia, we have a ministry we call, “Grab Your Groceries.”  We connect with social workers and guidance counselors in our local schools in Prince William County.  Through them, we are able to help provide grocery relief for some of the poorest in our area.  We meet very few of the families we serve, but based on our connections, we know the help is going to those who need it most.  The schools and families we serve are beginning to trust us more than other social organizations and it’s awesome to watch as they call us up and ask us to help us with different events at their schools.  I think we’ve stumbled on to a way to bring Jesus to schools without bashing them over the head with a Bible study or prayer group (but that’s a post for another time).

To help GYG grow, we are planning a huge benefit concert.  This is where social media comes back into the picture.  I sent Adam a direct message on Twitter, briefly told him about myself and introduced him to GYG.  I also was so bold as to ask him to help us out.  He responded with a message of his own and the conversation took off from there.  I found him on Facebook (to make messaging simpler) and gave him more details.  He was happy to help.  I asked him to donate cleats, signed by him, that we could raffle off to raise money to buy groceries for the families we serve.  He loved the idea and agreed.

No red tape.

No agents.

No long lines waiting for an autograph at a mall.

But I did make a connection with a professional athlete in the most powerful city in the world.  And he is helping us serve the community in his own way.  And I couldn’t have done it without social media.  Facebook, Twitter and more, have the power to connect you to people around the world like never before.  And in this case, it has served to further ministry efforts to provide grocery relief for those who need it most in our area.  Social media is capable of some very powerful things.

So, what do you think social media could help you and your ministry accomplish?

In what ways do you utilize social media to your ministries advantage?

Do you see ways that social media can be used to help make disciples?

Adam's cleats

Thanks, Adam Carriker, for the awesome donation!  You’re the man!  Go Huskers!  And, Go Skins!  We will be raffling his cleats at the benefit concert on Saturday, September 10th.

Follow Adam on Twitter here.  Check out his bio as well.  Maybe he knows a little something about making a difference in people’s lives.

Follow me on Twitter here.

Whirlwind!


Starting last Monday, pretty much everything is a blur.  My week was insane.  Literally, at moments I thought I was going to go crazy.

I’m happy to say, I’m still alive.

I was able to get an awesome deal on a new (to me) trailer and cabinets for our church.  We are mobile, so everything has to go in a trailer.  We are making moves toward a one trailer system.  The day we picked it up, was insane.  Everything from driving the opposite direction looking for a trailer, to reading a last minute ad in a flyer where we ultimately bought a trailer.  Emails from out of the blue.  Crazy cool conversations at times.  Then, topped off with an awesome Sunday morning with a near record attendance for our campus (on a Sunday not a holiday).  We are also connecting with a couple, area communities to help with their Easter events.  We are bringing moon bounces, sno-cones, popcorn, ice cream and face painting, all for FREE.  It’s a great way to plug in to area communities and their events.Ashton James

Stepping away from church talk, I volunteered to manage my son’s, 6-7 year old, coach pitch, little league team.  For those of you who are getting to know me on this little blog o’mine, I don’t really have anything to do with baseball.  Heck, I don’t even have a favorite team.  I don’t watch baseball.  I don’t really play it.  Now, I’m coaching it in one of the most competitive areas of the country.  Sheesh!

Beyond the lack of confidence since I know nothing about baseball, I’m super excited to spend time with my son.  I’m also really looking forward to meeting other families in the area.  Hopefully, God will use that to lead to some cool conversations.

It’s amazing how God opens doors through the most unlikely scenarios (me and baseball) for ministry.  I truly am excited to see where this might lead.

In other news, I’m really wanting to get back on Facebook.  My wife is posting awesome pictures online and I desperately want to check those out.  If you haven’t checked out her amazing photography, you should.  Misty Rodda Photography.

Time to relax for the rest of my Sunday evening.  I think I’ll run and grab a Dr. Pepper from somewhere.  Yeah, that sounds good.

Epic Fail!


Well, I did it.

I failed.

I had to login to Facebook today.  I’m getting so many messages from people who need different things and they don’t know I’m on Lent.  The problem is, I can’t reach them by email because I don’t know their email.  So I had to shoot off 2 messages recently from Facebook.

I’d like to apologize to everyone for my epic failure.

Getting back on the horse, starting……………now.

Just “Like” The Update Already!


Social mediaSince last Wednesday, I have been fasting from social media.  I have given up Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and more for Lent.  This has turned out to be a great decision for me personally!  I am finding myself with so much more time for more meaningful things.  With the exception of a few moments, I really haven’t missed social media that much.  To be honest, I really needed to contact someone the other day and I thought I could get their info from Facebook.  Instead of logging on, I chose to email someone who could give me their info.  It was a close call.

I’m not being legalistic about my decision, but I do want to honor the promise I have made to God as well.  It seems as if things are going the right direction.  I feel like things are clearing up for me.  Now that I have given God more of my time, it feels as if He is trying to capitalize on it.  I don’t believe I have all the answers and I certainly don’t believe I have arrived at some state of spiritual nirvana from which I can go no higher, but I do believe God is showing me some things.

I believe that social media is here to stay.  It may not always exist in its current form, but I think that social media in some form will be with us for a very long time.  That being said, God is the Beginning and the End.  God existed before social media and will continue to exist long after its gone.  God is showing me that social media can be a tool for ministry and that’s it.  Just a tool.  Social media is not life.  It is not the cure all for what ails you.  Social media when used properly, can be a great tool for connecting, networking and even caring for people you know.  But sometimes I act as if social media is somehow life.  That somehow my worthiness is wrapped up in how many people comment on a picture or “like” a status update.  If people don’t RT me, somehow I’m less of a man.  But this simply isn’t true.

God created me with a purpose.  He has big plans for me, plans that He designed for me (and for you) before I was even born (Ephesians 2:10).  And social media is not the plan.  It might be a tool that goes along with the plan, but it isn’t the plan!  I’m going to continue seeking God’s face and clinging to Him in times when social media used to reign supreme.  And in those moments I will wait to see what God has in store.

How is Lent going for you?

What are you learning?

Lent Day 3!


Today was a whirlwind for me.  I woke up a little later than normal since today was my “day off.”  I spent some time reading Scripture and giving God my top priority in the morning.  From there, it was pretty insane.

My oldest son said he was sick, but acted okay.  Sent him to school.

Off to the nZone by 9:30 am to shoot a new video for next Sunday.

While I waited for the set to be ready, I worked on my lesson (sermon) for Sunday morning.

Shot the video from 11-12pm.

Walked around the nZone to get the latest updates on construction.  Speaking of, you have to go to that link and watch some of our webcams.  New Life Christian Church is doing the coolest thing and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be a small part of it.  If you want to see the live cams, simply click the cam you want to watch.  Your browser will ask you for a username and password.  Type in “guest” as the username and leave the password blank.  Awesome stuff is happening here!  And speaking of my tour, this was the hardest part of my day in terms of breaking Lent.  I so wanted to tweet about what I was seeing.  I held strong though.

Went home and scarfed down lunch at like 1:20.

Finally got my 4 year old daughter a big girl bed (since she was still sleeping on her crib mattress).  I know, father of the year.

Bought her some new sheets and pillows to make it more girly.  I didn’t think she would like sleeping on just the mattress.

Shipped off an ebay item I sold.

Back home to my new “office” and started slaying more work on my sermon.

Boys came home from school.  Both of them had fevers.  They did not have good days.  Again, father of the year right here.

Slammed down some dinner before “Family Night” with two sick sons.

For family night we (they) watched “Megamind.”  I had a couple more errands to run.

Knocked out the errands and then back home in time to tuck the kids in bed.

What an awesome day off!

I’m finishing up my lesson for Sunday.  I think it’s going to be good.  Can I say that about my own sermon?  Is that okay?  God has helped me to use my time well this week without other distractions keeping me from Him.  He has kept me focused on what’s most important and I really believe He is doing a great work.  I’m so thankful for this great start to Lent.  I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me and you.  I’ll be back soon to share more.

What is God teaching you so far during Lent?

Lent Day 1!


As a heads up, I probably won’t blog every single day for 46 days.  Let’s just go ahead and set that expectation up front.  If I tried that, I’d probably go crazy.

Charlie Sheen

Oh, come on.  Not that crazy!

However, I wanted to make note of a couple of things about my first day without social media.

1) Only one person sent me a txt to ask if I was going crazy or not.  Honestly, I’m hurt.  I really don’t know if this is a good or bad thing.  Oh well.  Thanks for the txt to check up on me, Tom.

2) “Your focus needs more focus,” a line from the newer “Karate Kid” movie (I like the original better).  In an effort to have more focus, I have a new office area in my bedroom.  So today, armed with my new whiteboard of knowledge and wisdom, calendar, new notepad, laptop (minus social media) and a few other goodies, I set out for the day.  Well, not to be proud but, I conquered today like Arthur conquered the sword in the stone.  Like buttah!  =)  Don’t tell my boss.  I don’t want to get his expectations up.

3) By the time I deleted bookmark folders, apps on my phone and even my new Facebook browser (Rockmelt), I realized how much time I spend on social media.  Day one wasn’t even over and I was already disgusted with myself.  I enjoy social media, but need to be more disciplined with it.  I posted about that awhile back as well.

4) When you replace your social media time with time with God, you will be surprised how much of the book of Deuteronomy you can read.

5) This is obviously a spiritual journey for me.  You might not do Lent, might not care about it and it might just not be your thing.  But today was great for me.  Simply replacing time on Facebook with time being focused on God and realigning myself with Him, was amazing.  I was very aware of God’s presence in my life today.  Sometimes, I get so wrapped up with the things I think are important, that I drown out what’s most important.  I hope all 46 days are like this.

1 down, 45 to go.  This is going to be one cool journey.

Lent 2011!


I have never done anything for Lent.  Never fasted.  Never sacrificed anything.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.

I always thought Lent was some weird holiday for Catholics (just being honest here).  But it’s more than that.  Lent is simply a time of preparation.  It’s a 40 day preparation, leading up to the Holy Week (the week of Jesus’ death and resurrection).

Lent

I was out running tonight with a group of guys.  I get together with them once a week (at least).  We workout, run and even study together.  It’s a great group.  Tonight, we ended up on the subject of Lent.  One of the guys in our group basically said, “We should do it.  We should sacrifice something for Lent.”  So, we decided to go for it.

Since Lent is a time of preparation through sacrifice, we will each be sacrificing something to God for 40 days.  Each guy chose something that would be difficult for him to give up.  The idea being that it would be something difficult, a challenge, something that would really be a sacrifice.  One guy chose sweets, and another chose Mountain Dew.

What about me?  I wasn’t sure what to give up.  I was stuck.

So I went to my ever faithful wife and asked her what she thought.  When I asked her to make it tough, I had no idea how tough she was going to go.  Still, it’s a great challenge and I’m going to go forward with it.

For 40 days, I’m going to give up social media!  (Isn’t she brutal?)

I’m exempting my blog from this fast/sacrifice.  All other social media will go.  Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Tumblr, Path, etc.  40 days.  All gone.  No comments.  No posts.  No status updates.  No picture posts.  Nothing.

My goal is to spend the time I would usually be on social media, reading Scripture, praying and clinging to God as Easter approaches.

So, there you have it.  Lent 2011 – no social media!

What do you think about Lent?

Will you be sacrificing anything this year?

Poke The Box!


I opened my mail today and found my own copy of Seth Godin’s latest release, “Poke The Box.”  It came from amazon.com a lot quicker than I thought it would.  I opened it and began to read.  Then I kept reading.  Then I read some more.  In between a couple of fights, dinner and bedtime, I read some more.  Before I knew it, I had read the entire, eighty-four page, manifesto in one sitting.  I absolutely consumed that book.  Just to keep it real, it was a fairly simple read.  However, the content was more than that.  It was a great challenge.  A challenge and a call to our generation to, “Go.”  A challenge to initiate.

In his New York Times article called, “They Weren’t Careful What They Hoped For,” Barnaby Feder used an early example of the term, “slacktivism.”  Slacktivism is defined as, “the desire people have to do something good without getting out of their chair (Feder 2002).”  In other words, we don’t lack the market to make a great change.  We don’t lack the world that needs great change.  We don’t lack the resources or the network.  We don’t lack the finances or even the avenues by which we can employ a great change.  What we lack is the initiative.

I once changed my Facebook profile picture to one with a pink ribbon on it for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I post links on my Twitter and Facebook accounts that lead people to great articles and stories about grand causes.

I watch videos on YouTube that have to do with great causes and sometimes if I’m really motivated, I click the “thumbs up” button.

All of those things are good, but they don’t require any initiative to actually create a change in the world.  There must be more.  In fact, there has to be more.  Now, I need to actually DO something with what I know.

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, but I will try to post more of my thoughts on this book soon.  For now, I will leave you with one of the quotes from the second page of the book.

Imagine that the world had no middlemen, no publishers, no bosses, no HR folks, no one telling you what you couldn’t do.  If you lived in that world, what would you do?  Go.  Do that.

So, what would you do?

Poke The Box

Just 1 Word!


Today, I posted a status update on my Facebook.  It was a simple post.  It looked like this…

Facebook status update

I thought a lot about the responses.  I have prayed for every single one of them.  Even a couple of responses that came from people who aren’t even my “friends” on Facebook.  I thought that was really cool that they posted a one-word prayer request.

As a result, I’m going to do this every Friday morning.  I’m going to ask for one-word prayer requests every Friday morning.  I wanted to post this on my blog as well so that those who aren’t on Facebook can still have the opportunity to be heard.  So if you’re out there reading this, please comment below with your one-word prayer request.

For those of you who might be interested, you can find me on Facebook or Twitter as well.  I can’t wait to pray for you.

Social Media Fast


Facebook.  Twitter.  Foursquare.  Yammer.  Tumblr.  LinkedIn.  XING.  Meetup.  MySpace.  And that’s just a start.  Social media is huge in our world.  In fact, it has changed hSocial Media Mapow we communicate, meet people, share photos and even do business.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have taken a break from all of it.  I logged off of Facebook.  I gave up tweeting.  I didn’t even yam on yammer.  In fact, I’m pretty sure no one even knew where I was because I cut Foursquare out of my life.  No blogs were written.  I deleted the apps off of my phone.  I literally went on a social media fast.  I had a very specific goal in mind.  There was something missing in my life.  All of the social media stuff had just become noise for me.  Time was being wasted.  And to top it off, I wasn’t hearing from the most important “social connection” in my life.  So I want to tell you a little about what I learned during my social media fast.

I would give you an accurate time frame, but honestly, I’m not sure what that time frame is.  What I can honestly say is, that this has been going on way too long.  So in the following examples, just insert “way too long” as a time frame.

For (time frame), I could tell you what the latest YouTube fad video was.  But I couldn’t tell you what God was up to.

For (time frame), I could tell you what was going on in many parts of the world.  But I couldn’t tell you how God was working in my world.

For (time frame), I could point you to blogs, websites and resources all over the net.  But I couldn’t point you what God was saying.

My goal was to get my priorities back in the right place.  I replaced all of my social media time, with time with God.  Instead of updating my status, I spent some time hearing from God.  And something amazing happened.  I began hearing from God in fresh ways.  Everything began to change for me.  Things were much clearer.  I began to have a very clear sense of the things I had to do as a campus pastor.  It was one of the best things I have ever done, spiritually speaking.

I’m convinced that we can fast from more than just food.  Fasting is a spiritual practice where we give something up in order to hear from and get closer to God’s will for our life.  For me, it was fasting from social media that is just what I needed.  My last update on social media was September 15th.  My fast began on the 13th.  I updated on the 15th to simply say that God was already showing up in a big way.  And what a great three weeks it has been.

So what did I learn?

  1. I don’t need social media to survive.
  2. I need God to survive.
  3. Social media is fun, but it’s not life.
  4. Time is precious and how I spend it needs to be watched, closely.
  5. God speaks to us when we are as intentional about listening to Him as we are about spending time on Facebook.

Many of you may be wondering; will I be back to social media?  The answer to that question is, “Yes.”  I will be back to social media.  But I will be back with a much clearer perspective on how and when to use it.  I will have a plan in place to make sure it doesn’t take over my life.  So for those of you who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Foursquare, you don’t have to fear.  I’ll be back soon.

So, that brings us to you.

Do you think we need a social media fast?

Have you ever taken one?

What did you learn?

Are you going to take one now?

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