09 September 2011

Lotsa Communicating, But Less Connecting?

This image courtesy of Steve Kryger, CommunicateJesus.com

During the Get Javanated! workshops I conduct for entrepreneurs' groups, I use a chart not dissimilar from this one discussed a year or so ago at Steve Kryger's church marketing blog, Communicate Jesus.  Customised to the special needs and challenges of each audience, I also include an additional building block:  blogs.

The best blogs can be superior  communication tools, with a level of intimacy and authenticity varying by how well the blogger at the hub performs his/her role as presenter and moderator.  Readers' comments and interchanges with the blog author and one another act as the sine qua non of how successfully this momentary intimacy is consummated.

To extend your thoughts re people feeling more lonely than ever despite today's Social Media Wonder Tools, consider what Wayne Cordeiro, senior pastor of New Hope Church, Oahu says in a talk entitled "People Hiding in Plain Sight" (the vidcast version at 
http://www.enewhope.org/videob... shows the title as "Hidden in Plain Sight").

In a pair of sermons on Social Networking delivered 11th April 2010 (BFF - Best Friends Forever, Pastor Elwin Ahu) and 18th April (Hidden..., Cordeiro), Cordeiro and Ahu re-define and most importantly, re-direct, listeners' attention to the fact that digital communications -- Facebook, Twitter, texting, et al. -- are most successful when --

  • (A) we remember the tools are meant to serve us and our needs for friendship and community (fellowship), and
  • (B) we use these tools with forethought and intentionality.
"In this socially connected world, *people* are still not connected....In this world of social connectedness, it [social media] can never become a substitute for F2F, face to face....I want to challenge you today, when you see this social networking increase...use it to motivate yourself to go face-to-face with people."

New Hope's well-designed website contains a wide array of digital media -- livecasts with a chat room enabling viewers to ask questions and offer comments; downloadable vidcasts, podcasts, sermon notes, and newsletter; a journalling process for personal faith-building and to share as devotionals through "Doing Life Together"; a "prayer wall"; and "iNeed", their own online classified ads (imagine a scrupulously cleaned-up Craigslist!) -- plus, thoughtfully deployed social networking, New Hope Oahu could be held up as a model for the faith community of a church who have adapted well to modern realities. But, as Cordeiro and the pastoral staff consistently point out, the tools and toys would be hollow and meaningless without "

In Hawaiʻi,
'ohana is family - extended, adopted, blood relatives, or anyone sharing fellowship in Christ with one another for an hour, a day, or a lifetime.  And when you have 'ohana, there are connections, face-to-face and heart-to-heart.  The Social Media Wonder Tools are there to serve the spirit of 'ohana by building and connecting the New Hope family.

When you and I review our own whiz-bang technomarvelous tools, let's do a reality check:  what spirit are we building?  Are we deepening and strengthening our connections or are we just beating our drums louder and longer?

Just asking....
See you on the patio! 

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