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I love Twitter. I really do. But today’s Twitter is not what I fell in love with back when I joined in 2007. Yes… last month was my eighth anniversary on Twitter. And things have changed. Twitter, for me, used to be a great way to connect with people, one-on-one… have conversations, learn and share. But it’s different now. Recently, social media guy Gary Vaynerchuck said that Twitter will die if it doesn’t fix it’s ‘noise’ problem. keep reading

Twitter is gearing up to offer a new feature. You will soon be able to record and add short videos to your twitter feed. All within Twitter. Best Ministry Practices wrote about this new offering, that according to Twitter should be available in the first half of this year. According to Kevin Weil, a Twitter VP: “Aside from just watching video more easily on Twitter, you should be able to record, edit and share your own videos natively on Twitter too… Alongside short looping Vine videos, we think you’ll have fun sharing what’s happening in your world through native video.” Big whoop, you might say. But hold on. Is this the next BIG thing? Who knows. But you should be prepared, or at least thinking through how this might change things. How might your church use short-form video on social media? Short Announcements? Reminders to attend on Sunday? Promos? Follow-up sermon material? This could be a new venue for you to communicate with your peeps throughout the week. So… what do you think?  Is there a way to use this new Twitter feature to enhance your local ministry? Todd

Josh Reich shares five key things you should do when you’re discouraged and disappointed in ministry life.  We’ve all been there.  It’s depressing.  Here has what Josh has learned.  I hope these can help you the next time you’re ‘there’:
  1. You’re still called. Remember that you are called to where God has you. The moments that are the hardest in life and in ministry are typically when God is trying to teach you something, your church, family or team.
  2. Stay focused in your area. When leading is hard, everyone else seems to have an easier time. When a Sunday is mediocre for you, just go on Twitter and you will find 20 guys who just had a revival while you preached to the sleeping masses. Don’t look over the fence. Don’t brush up your resume. Don’t look up churches looking for a pastor. This isn’t the time.
  3. Keep everyone focused. If you are a disappointed, it will eventually bleed into your team. You as a leader must keep them focuses on the vision and away from disappointment. Celebrate whatever you can think of.
  4. Don’t sin. When you are at a low point in life, sin is right around the corner. Whether it is jealousy, gossip or falling into an addiction. Keep your guard up, be aware. Don’t fail in the midst of disappointment.
  5. Take a break. When you are disappointed, it might be time for a vacation. You may be burning out, simply running out of things to give those around you and you need to get a better handle on life and ministry.
Read more of Josh’s thoughts here at his excellent “My World” blog.
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Yesterday, I featured a post about why people attend church. Today, I give you this post about why non-christians are NOT attending church: Of course, this is NOT a real study… but a graphic compiled by Chris Rosebrough… one of my discernment friends. He also lists scripture references for each point. I’d like to hear what YOU think about this. How does this correlate with how you see the work of the church in evangelism? How does this relate to how your church relates to the non-Christian. I was challenged on Twitter that I would ignore this study.  OK… I took the bait.  🙂 What do YOU think?  Is this helpful at all in understanding the unchurched, non-christian mindset? Leave your comment below… Thanks, Todd

Facebook provides an interesting look for pastors into the lives of their congregation. Sometimes very interesting. But should information gleaned from Facebook or social media be used by pastors as spiritual tools, or even reason for church discipline? Father Gary LaMoine of Assumption Church in Barnesville, MN says a post from a 17-year-old parishioner Lennon Cihak on Facebook showing that he was helping defeat a marriage amendment in Minnesota that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Father LaMoine prevented Cihak from taking communion. So… what do YOU think? Chances are, you’ve already seen some things on some of your church attender’s Facebook and Twitter feeds that made you uncomfortable. What do you do when this happens? Do you confront? What if this person is one of your leaders? QUESTION:  Should social networking posts and profiles have any impact on what you do as a pastor or church leader? How do you approach this? // Read more here… Please leave a comment… Todd

We all know that serving the church is stressful.  Extremely stressful. Well, a new study by the British Psychological Society has a simple solution that will help cut your stress level.  And I think you should try it right now. Here it is… Shut of your smartphone and ignore your social networks. In fact… here are the recommendations from the study:
Organisations will not flourish if their employees are stressed, irrespective of the source of stress, so it is in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off; cut the number of work emails sent out of hours, reduce people’s temptation to check their devices.
If you need to cut the stress level for the rest of the afternoon, try shutting off your smartphone for an hour.  Do the same with your facebook and twitter accounts; and with your gmail. You’ll find that you’ll be a little less ‘on the edge’.  And that nothing catestrophic will probably happen in the next hour.  If something does, just put out the fire and move on. Give it a try; and share here how it felt. SOURCE

A new survey from Pew says that some 40% of Americans are active in a church, religious, or spiritual organization. Compared with those who are not involved with such organizations, religiously active Americans are more trusting of others, are more optimistic about their impact on their community, think more highly of their community, are more involved in more organizations of all kinds, and devote more time to the groups to which they are active. When it comes to their technology profile, Americans who are members of religious groups are just as likely as others to use the internet, have broadband at home, use cell phones, use text messaging, and use social networking sites and Twitter. Here’s a breakdown of more of the findings: — 9 percent of those actively involved in religious groups use Twitter, the same percentage as the general population.

— 46 percent of those in religious groups use social networking sites — almost identical to the 47 percent of all adults.

— 60 percent of both groups use text messaging.

— 79 percent of those actively involved in religious groups use the Internet while 76 percent of all adults do so. — 9 percent of weekly churchgoers use Twitter (15 percent of monthly churchgoers and 14 percent of less frequent churchgoers do so). 

— 26 percent of weekly churchgoers make donations online (35 percent of monthly churchgoers; 27 percent of less frequent churchgoers).

— 70 percent of weekly churchgoers who have a cell phone send or receive text messages (80 percent of monthly churchgoers; 77 percent of less frequent churchgoers).

— 36 percent of weekly churchgoers use their cell phone to access the Internet (51 percent of monthly churchgoers; 45 percent of less frequent churchgoers).  via Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Baptist Press