May 6, 2009

Best Practices: Using the Net FOR Ministry


I'm just leaving the Richmond Diocese where I led a group of parish and diocesan leaders in using technology for ministry. I've come to the conclusion that many on parish and diocesan staffs are beginning to realize that the church is being called to become another content provider on the net. The spiritual search begins online and answers to even basic questions are often at the mercy of a google search--where the best information is not always accurate.

But nonetheless, we need to be content providers because that's where Jesus was. Jesus would be twittering at this moment I think if he were walking the earth.

So my question to those of us who work in this field is a simple one: What have you used technology for in your ministry? Why and how did you choose it? What successes and failures have you had? Did you start out with one idea and then move quickly into another one? How have young people gotten involved and what was the response of the end user? Did you reach your target audience and how are people responding? What has it moved people to do?

What problems occurred? Where were you lacking? What challenges did it bring into your life?

I hope this can be the beginning of a wide ranging conversation.

8 comments:

Krisj said...

It just sounds so cool "Jesus would be twittering at this moment I think if he were walking the earth. " just thinking about it. I like the blog!

god googler said...

Thanks Krisj--how have you seen the internet being used in your experience with faith-related groups?

god googler said...

Thanks Krisj--how have you seen the internet being used in your experience with faith-related groups?

Missy Francis said...

There are still many who shy away from it--especially among the older folks. But even they are open to recieving links to interesting articles via email.
I would like to use a google group or similar discussion forum for Sacramental prep for parents. I think having them contemplate and answer questions online and read each others answers might lead to better connections. Plus it feels more private than a blog.

god googler said...

Good idea...have you tried it already? If you haven't, let us know how it works out when you do.

The anonymity of the internet sometimes also serves us when it comes to answering people's questions of faith but it also doesn't necessarily move people into parish life.

St Edwards Blog said...

How nice to see my blogging sister and friend Missy here.

I have used writing on blogs as a ministry to share faith and evangelize. I think that the gift of the blog is that it feels safer for some folks to talk about faith there... We do not have a good tradition of speaking about our Catholic faith in many aspects.

So it is an invitation, but the invitation must be to connect in our humanity,not just on the screen. I have never met Missy who commented above, but we support each other greatly in prayer and friendship. We speak on the phone. One day we do hope to meet. I can tell you that learning about Missy's parish blog helped me further develop my own.

That is faith in action, dynamic and alive.

Facebook and twitter are a bit different... But the same principle of dynamic faith exchange applies.

In one corner of my blogging life, I am close to a group of mostly Episcopalian bloggers. Some of us have met, most of us have not. We are not just around the country but around the world.

One person in the circle had an unfortunate death right before Easter and the group congealed around a new blog that was created so that people could mourn their friend in a liturgical-like setting. I did not know the deceased man well, may he rest in peace, so I did not participate.

That said, an Easter Vigil blog got launched off of that - I offered up a reading in a podcast like post. It was quite extraordinary to have the sharing of voices lifted ecumenically in faith.

I could go on and on. Lest anyone think I am sitting alone behind my screen all the time, I am just another ENFP extrovert who has a full time job at a church, is grad school theology student and has a stepdaughter and husband.

Perhaps this comment is too long, but I am so fired up about the use of technology in ministry and mission.

In fact so much so that I am presenting on this at the same catechetical event that Mike himself will be at in Albany next week!


Fran

Fr. Robert J. Carr said...

Hello,
We run two video channels, (http://www.youtube.com/stbenedictsomerville and http://www.youtube.com/sanbenitosomerville) I also blog (http://www.catholicismanew.org) as a member of one of the most tech savvy Catholic communities in the world: Canção Nova. (http://www.cancaonova.com). The US webpage is http://www.newsongtv.com

We also run a spanish language channel on mogulus (http://www.mogulus.com/asambleasanbenito)

Unfortunately, I have found that many Catholics do not understand the importance of technology. I still deal with priests who consider the computer virtually an evil device. I appreciate your recognition that this needs to change more and more.

St Edwards Blog said...

Well I am here in my classroom at the College of St. Rose and getting ready to begin my session....what better time to leave you a comment on this topic, if only to say hello, thank you and peace!
Fran

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