Looking for e-Lationship

So, you’re bopping around, meeting people on Twitter. Having a great time. And then it happens. You follow a few people back and then your direct message inbox begins to overflow.

You stop by to check it out and discover that it’s nothing more than weak sales offers and scams. Nothing but direct marketing. Some guy’s “free” offer for an ebook explaining how he got to a zillion followers on Twitter in only 8 seconds.

ebookoffer

Don’t be that guy

As with any relationship, Twitter is based on trust. When somebody follows you, there is an expectation. There is some expectation of a relationship and how that relationship will work.

This is especially important for communities, companies, and churches. Your audience will have expectations of what will come of this e-lationship they are forming with you. Be clear about what you offer and don’t violate their trust.

If you make it sound like they’re getting a real relationship with you or your organization, don’t have some bot post semi-interesting stuff every hour or two so that you’re always at the top of their stream.

Instead, read their streams. Respond to direct messages and replies with a person, not a machine. And when it comes time to send out an update, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Is this something my community will care about?
  2. Will this violate their trust or expectations?
  3. Will this compromise somebody’s privacy?

Just use a few steps, a little logic, good manners, and some caring and you’re well on your way to forming a lasting e-Lationship with your audience as well as deepening your relationships with your friends.

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4 Things You Can do Every Day to Improve Your Spiritual Effectiveness

238232186_2a2ab1fa18_mA couple of days ago I was reading a post by Chris Brogan called 19 Presence Management Chores You COULD Do Every Day – a well-thought, well-written, practical article.

That got me thinking…perhaps there are some things that we can do daily to be more effective in the Kingdom of God. In fact I know there are. Here are four things that we – you, me, anybody who is in a relationship with God through Jesus of Nazareth – can do daily and which will improve our effectiveness. Continue reading

Be Excellent to Each Other

by decadence

by decadence

Sometimes we find spiritual truths in the most unlikely places. As Christian philosopher Arthur F. Holmes puts it, “All Truth is God’s Truth.” And such was the case with my recent viewing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure.

When Katherine and I sat down last week for a movie night, I had no idea that God was going to remind me of something. Something so very central to our collective Christian life.

In Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure, our two bumbling “heroes” ride a telephone booth time machine through history, gathering up key historic figures for an oral report and reminding people to “be excellent to each other”. And at first pass, their catch phrase seems like nothing but moronic drivel. But a deeper look reveals that’s not the case – this is exactly the kind of thing that Jesus told us to do. Continue reading

Why I Need the Church

I need the church – the community of saints, the body of Christ. I need to spend time with the church. I need to know and be known by the church. I need to identify with the church.

God, in his wisdom, has commanded that I do so but sometimes, in my thick-headedness, I forget that God wants only the best for me. Sometimes I, in my immaturity, need to see the “why” behind God’s command. To see why I need the church.

Here is why I need the church: Continue reading

Who Has Your Ear?

Yesterday I wrote about living in community. Part of the value of community is the input we receive from others – and that input can extend beyond geographical boundaries.

The person standing next to me certainly has my ear but so does the person on the other end of the television. As does the blogger I’m reading or the author of the book on my nightstand. Those far and near have the ability to influence our thinking, behaviors, and lives.

Here’s my question to you:

Who has your ear?

I don’t intend for this question to be manipulative. I’m not trying to get you to evaluate the inputs you’re receiving. I actually want to know.

To whom do you listen?

Leave comments. I would like to know.

It Takes a Village

You may have noticed over the last few days that I’ve posted several pieces showcasing the work of other people. There’s a reason for that. I listen to them and what they’ve posted is good.

One of the fallacies of modern middle-class USAmerican life is that we have to be able to do it all on our own. That, especially in areas of faith, is simply not the case. We were never intended to live out our faith by ourselves. Rather, God intends for us to live in community – in proximity to and in relationship with other people. People who agree with us and people who don’t. It is in that place that we experience the blessing of God as we walk in unity (not unanimity) with our neighbors. It’s there that the Lord commands a blessing.

In community and relationship, we learn to extend and receive grace. To forgive and be forgiven. And, while our primary relationship will always be in Christ, that relationship should be expressed in the way we live with others on the earth that we have been given.

From one villager to another, be encouraged: read widely, converse openly, and serve freely.

The Greatest in the Kingdom

For a while I’ve been pondering the difficulties that we seem to have getting people involved in service activities at our church. Now, before I get too far down in this posting, I’d like to make these two provisos:

  1. I understand that the local body is not the only place people can serve
  2. I understand that it is possible to serve in the local body and still not be advancing the kingdom

Occasionally (or often), I read non-religious books and blog postings. As I was reading Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, I was reminded, again, of the 80/20 principle. I have been aware of the 80/20 principle for some time, which generally applies to a “society” or “community” of interrelated variables (people, products, etc). In the context of people, it would state that:

  • 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth.
  • 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
  • 80% of the people do the remaining 20% of the work.
  • 20% of the people create 80% of the problems.

That got me thinking. First, I wonder if we sometimes expect that each person in our “community” will give the same amount – the kind of “work leveling” that we would see in a job. Second, I see that, across the board, no matter how we break it down, 100% of the people do 100% of the work.

As I continued to meditate on these principles, I was reminded that Jesus said that whoever wants to be first must be last and the servant of all (Mark 9:35). In other words, if I want to follow Christ more closely, I must serve more people (do more of the work, etc) – which means I must, by definition, be more involved in my community.

Continue reading