We will be making some adjustments in coming months. We anticipate those adjustments will see more blogging, writing, and social media usage.
We’ve had some express concern about our social media use not being appropriate for pastors. We’ve also had many affirm our social media usage. We thought we should give a little clarity.
We see that God has given us a treasure to steward on social media. We’re not celebrities but we do have many friends and those who follow our postings. We’ve lived in diverse settings that very quickly became quite intimate due to their intensity. Social media has given us a way to bring our diverse worlds together in conversation. In many ways it has made us more authentic. For instance, we don’t have one missionary face when “we’re on the field,” and another missionary face when “we’re reporting to donors.” It’s all together.
If you’re looking at social media and asking the question, “What would Jesus do?” We at this point don’t have a good answer. However, if you are looking at social media and asking, “What would the Apostle Paul do?” please pull up a chair. We think he’d be a blogging, facebooking, and tweeting missionary. We think the same thing about Exilic prophets like Ezekiel or Daniel. We’ll try to live out that presupposition as best we can.
A few times we’ve gone through our friends list and counted categories. Yet, much of the following is an educated guess.
I have over 4,000 friends on Facebook. About half of them are of African descent. Probably about 30% are European-Americans.
Probably about 20% are from other nations. Of the 20% most of them are those we met in global cities such as embassy personnel, development workers, international business people, and academics. At least 1,000 of my friends are African immigrants to Europe or North America. My friends are educated. Many of them I’ve met in academic settings. I’d guess 75% have a bachelor’s degree. I’d bet at least 20% have graduate degrees. Most are believers in Jesus’ resurrection. I’d guess that number is around 85%. Yet, there are some who don’t believe in Jesus’ resurrection. Some of them are followers of the Muslim faith. A few are Jewish.
For some who follow me the conversations on social media are an exposure to a world that is completely new. The general tone will be thoughtful people representing the Global Church. You’ll notice we’re discussing frequently North America as a mission field. At times that will be enticing. At times that will be offensive as you’ll discover the Global Church’s appraisal of the North American Church.
If you’re struggling to understand what’s happening think of the conversation as the types of ones you’d find around a kitchen table with the above people. You’ll see some intimacy and candor that is out of the ordinary. Please take the time to listen well. Occasionally, we introduce people to one another. We like all of you and hope you will like one another.
In my home we deal daily with issues of race, immigration, poverty, and disability. Just as you’ll see photos of births, weddings, parties, athletic and academic accomplishments you’ll read stories of us processing painful parts of the American experience. You’ll notice we rarely have the TV going at our kitchen table. We tend to only have it on for sporting events and generally just turn it off when the news and commentaries are on. You’ll notice lots of reading of newspapers, magazines, blogs, books, and Bibles happen; and they get quoted frequently. You’ll notice we read pretty diverse sources and have few partisan affiliations. You may want to think of the conversations as ones you’d have in the morning in a large extended family. Some times the conversations will be quite pointed. Yet, we’ll try our best to be kind and gracious.
We’ll on occasion delete comments if we find them abusive.
I’ve 12 times blocked someone so it does happen but is rare. You’ll get blocked if you try to manipulate the conversation to take people’s money, or are unkind to children or parents. Basically, you’re in the home of an old man who still runs a few miles in the morning. I expect you to be good to your neighbors.
Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee. What’s up? What have you read lately? What are you thinking? Murakaza neza. Karibuni sana. We hope you feel welcome.