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8
Dec

Blogs, Facebook and the Contemplative Life

Posted on December 8th, 2008

I have been resisting the enormous changes happening in our culture around social networking and the internet for some time (e.g. responding to Blogs!). But after Drew Hyun, one of our pastors, showed me around Facebook and how he was using it to lead, I finally got it. I now have a “fan club” on Facebook! The following is a summary of what I shared at our all staff meeting at NLF last week: The world has drastically changed. The CEO of Nelson Publishers sent a memo to all writers a few months ago saying that the way we get the word out in the 21st century has gone through a revolution and we had better get adept at the new technologies if we intend to lead.  I then read Tribes by Seth Godwin. Godwin describes a Tribe as any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader and an idea.  Blogs, social networking sites, self publishing tools and twitter are only a few examples of new tools that are at our disposal. Moreover, the internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. He writes: “There are literally thousands of ways to coordinate and connect groups of people that did not exist before. All are worthless if you don’t decide to lead.The people need you. The tools are there, just waiting. All that is  missing is you, your vision and passion.” New Life is a church community centered on a Rule of Life with 4 unique qualities – Emotional Health, Monastic, Multicultural, Missional. We have a message and a life to steward (with 21 years of history/depth/learnings). At the same time, we are committed to a contemplative life where we lead out of our walk with Christ and integrity. So how then do we use these technologies like Facebook and Blogs to lead our people well while at the same time avoiding some of the obvious pitfalls? I challenged each of our staff to wade into this new world as I am for the sake of Christ. We have much to learn. How do you think we can enter this potentially addictive social networking world without losing our contemplative life?

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