> @stickyJesus 8) Warning: Danger Zones

at worldIn celebration of Internet Evangelism Month, this is the eighth in a 15-part blog project discussing the book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.

I used to work for a non-profit and my idealistic right-out-of-college self was shocked when I realized that non-profits lived in a state of competitiveness. I thought I was avoiding competition when I chose not to go into the business world. I just wanted to help people. Non-profits have to sing for their supper and there are only so much grants and financial donations to go around, and that is what it becomes about.

Then I gave my life to Christ and joined a leadership team at my church. Now, my church was about supporting other churches and had a vision to network and become unified with other churches. I believe in that vision, and went to work to try and get it done. I ended up finding the same thing with trying to work with other churches as I did with non-profits: churches unwilling to even listen to each other because of competitiveness.

In @stickyJesus by Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong they said, “…you must master the tools needed to communicate the gospel to the world. And we’ve got to do it together. Currently, more than 33,820 denominations of the Christian faith exist. Imagine if we could all get in the same pew for a few minutes. We could change everything.”

In 10 years as we look back on what we did with social media this could be one of the amazing things that churches did- connect, unite, and create a network of support. Even if the church down the street won’t participate in your event because they are afraid that you’ll “steal” their congregation, online you can connect with a hundred more churches. Church communicators are starting to do this through discussion boards, blogs, and twitter.

We need to start doing this when it comes to spreading the gospel too. We need to show through our conversations and blogs what Christianity is really about. The way we can do this is not by acting like a lone ranger in the social media sphere, but by linking to each other, posting good devotions and articles (even if they are not from your church), having open discussions with other Christians about what we are going through in our walk and relevant topics of the day, and promoting what other churches are doing as well as your own. We need to get in a THE church mentality versus my church mentality, and social media can make this happen quicker and easier than ever before. We can evangelize on a whole new platform now and we can do it together.

Questions to consider:

1) Are you fearful of other churches?

2) Do you slip into a competitive mindset when you meet someone from another church?

3) Do you only use social media to try to reach out to people at your church or do you try to connect with people from other churches?

@stickyJesus 7) Christ followers: the game changers" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/18/stickyjesus-7-christ-followers-the-game-changers/">7) Christ followers: the game changers <– @StickyJesus – The Group Blog Project" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/02/introducing-stickyjesus-group-blog-project/">@StickyJesus project –> @StickyJesus 9) Quiet: The Humility Zone" rel="bookmark" href="http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/23/stickyjesus-9-quiet-the-humility-zone/">9) Quiet: The Humility Zone

Jennifer Armitage is mother, wife, master of OutreachGeek.com, Director of Communications & Community Outreach for Crossroads Christian Fellowship, and freelance writer.

17 Responses to “> @stickyJesus 8) Warning: Danger Zones”

  1. It seems like the enemy looks for every opportunity to confuse us about the team we are called to serve. It's tragic when we see him doing it and how it becomes a massive diversion – it's another ploy to derail us. I consistently support and promote ministries that are available through my church – but I also make known what other churches are doing. It's such an easy way to help others know all the different points of help and support available to them. Be faithful to share ministries and trust God to do the work. He'll get people where they need to be.

    I highly encourage you to take a look at this video – Pastor Craig nails the issue of competition in the Church.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RpZEe4w4fY&fe

    O Lord, reveal in our hearts, Your vision for the body. Holy Spirit empower us to move as one. Sit us in the same pew – for the Glory and purposes of You – and You alone.

    Thanks Jennifer for this post and the reminder – we must be on guard and submit our motives to Divine scrutiny at all times in order to avoid those danger zones.

    Finish strong and have Happy Weekend, everyone!

    • Love the video! Love Craig Groeschel!

      Shared the video with our senior staff. Our Senior Pastor just hosted a luncheon this week and invited 18 local churches in our immediate area to come together, break bread, and get to know each other. When we work together, we can impact our community for Christ in a bigger way.

      • Great Sarah – I'm so happy you found instant value from that link. Craig has amazing vision for internet missions and how we need to work together. We appreciate his leadership in this space.

        Kudos to your pastor for taking vision to action when it comes to church unity.

  2. We are one body. One. We are to complete and compete with one another and always be turning hearts toward Jesus. Thanks for the great perspective, Jennifer.

    Chapter 8 is all about the danger zones we will encounter online, and yes, all temptation to dip our feet in these zones begins in the heart.

    We put this chapter in the book as smelling salts to the sometimes "fun, friendly, exciting," vibe social networks bring into our homes. It's important to guard your heart against the enemy's traps. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy Christ followers and their families and he will do it in the places we spend the most time and where we seek to infuse light.

    It's imperative as believers, who operate in a digital space & tote shiny gadgets, that we set ground rules for technology in our homes, manage our time, guard our eyes, ears & hearts daily against offensive content, and encourage/model the same for those around us. Here's a great downloadable poster (bottom of page) "Family Ground Rules for Living Sticky (and safe) Online" to hang in your home to keep your family focused:
    http://stickyjesus.com/resources/onlinemobile-saf

    To be united and link arms as we walk into these danger zones as one body, is a matter of life and death . . . literally. Are we being over dramatic? Not at all: teen suicides are up and online time is a culprit; driving while texting is becoming and epedemic, and porn on the internet is tearing our families apart. Let's pray for one another and go to war on the digital front as fiercely as we evangelize the lost online.

  3. PaulSteinbrueck May 20, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for writing today's post. One of the cool things about ministering online is there seems to be much more collaboration and much less concern about theological or denominational differences. Take this group blog project for example… outside of those who are employed by churches that have their denomination in their name, does anyone even know (much less care) about each other's denominational affiliation?

    In additional to disunity, I think chapter 8 does a great job of making us aware of many of the dangers of the online world. The Internet, blogs, and social media have great power for good, but like any tools they can also be used for evil, so it's important to be on guard.

    • I love following and connecting with all types of people and all types of Christians. It makes my day much more interesting.

      I love your comment Paul!

  4. Wanda Simpson May 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for the post. I definitely try to reach out instead of closing the doors when sharing resources online. I want the community looking at it, and in most cases for our site, it is driven by responses from people other than our congregation. I also don't think of it as looking at other bloggers and sites as competition, but as fellow Christians building me up and sharing with others. It is so awesome to be able to find something that is so Jesus filled that you want to share it with everyone, and they tell two friends, and so on. This is an open invitation that God has given us with technology to share from our little corner of the world with millions who are searching for answers.

  5. Very well said Jen! Thanks for highlighting that issue!

  6. Great post. We, like the Pharisees, can get so caught up in the rules (infant baptism vs adult baptism). Interpretation of these rules is what has and continues to fraction the Church. It is also what gives Christians the reputation of being judgemental and small-minded. When those who haven't yet accepted Christ see us fighting amongst ourselves and condemning each other, it gives them another reason not to engage in conversation about God with us. Social media truly does give us an amazing opportunity to just talk as fellow Christ followers.

  7. i think this was such a powerful chapter – a chapt to remind us of the grace of God and the choices we make to draw closer to that or to move away from that…

    i love connecting with people all over the world from different churches – such a blessing as i live in a small country… and enriching as we often can have different things we are passionate abut and be wired in different ways… i love how God has created THE BODY! we can learn from each others strengths and be scaffolded in our weaknesses, encouraged and inspired and challenged… i think other chrisitans can open our eyes to different aspects of God's heart… and i love that!

    http://onepassiononedevotion.wordpress.com/2011/0

  8. I whole heartedly agree. Well said.

  9. Cindee Snider Re May 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Such a beautiful call to action — to be the Body, the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus in all our glorious diversity — separate, unique, individual, different, but so incredibly important to one another, interconnected, and necessary to complete the Body of Christ.

    I love your last paragraph! May we grow to be "THE" Church, spread across the world to bring the Good News to all people. Well said, Jennifer. You've inspired me today.

  10. Interestingly, I've gotten to know some people online from my own church that I never connected with in the building.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Read my guest post at OurChurch.com’s blog « the blog of a Outreach Geek - May 20, 2011

    [...] I was part of another group blog project with OurChurch.com. This time it was on the book @stickyJesus. My post discusses how Christians need approach social media as a way to collaborate and work with other Christians to grow the Kingdom. You can find it here. [...]

  2. > @StickyJesus 9) Quiet: The Humility Zone | Christian Web Trends Blog - May 23, 2011

    [...] Warning: Danger Zones <– @StickyJesus project –> Amber is soon to be wife (January 29th, 2011), sister to the funniest kid she has ever met, and privileged to serve at such a wonderful church as Community Church. She has been in involved in ministering to children and youth for 10 years. This is her debut guest blogging but you can check out more of her thoughts at http://heartstransformed.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter: @msamberuh Internet Evangelism Day, social networking humility, pride, self promotion, social media > @stickyJesus 8) Warning: Danger Zones [...]

  3. Introducing @StickyJesus – The Group Blog Project | Christian Web Trends Blog - May 23, 2011

    [...] 8 [...]