For the greater part of the last six months I’ve been working with organizations, businesses and individuals helping them with their presence on social media. My clients have ranged from large nonprofits and religious organizations to Chicago-based companies and a few individuals with large followings. I’ve been learning a lot through the experience and although my clients are all completely different, one thing has been consistent for all of them: the power of acknowledgement.
My morning routine [after YouVersion of course]: Email. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Path. Pins on Pinterest. Blogging. Check the Klout score because we all DO secretly care about it. On occasion, LinkedIn. And that’s all before everything else I do, including living a real life and [currently] looking for a new job. A socially-connected life can be a bit overwhelming at times. For Lent, I didn’t give up social media, but I gave myself permission to be a person and I learned a lot.
I can say without reservation that Twitter has changed my life.
Well, the actual application itself hasn’t changed my life, but the connections, opportunities and relationships that have been a part of my life the past four years [yeah, I was a nerd in 2007 when I joined] were in many ways a result of my engagement on Twitter. It’s pretty hard for me to imagine my life without Twitter and the good it has created in my life, both personally and professionally.
Thanks to Twitter, I’ve been connected with people I would have never had the opportunity to meet before and have people in my life who I would consider to be close friends that I haven’t even met in person yet. Projects like Outspoken and the Cultivate Conference would have never been possible without the Twitter community of church communications people backing it. My friendship with people like Jason Fried would have never been possible if it weren’t for Twitter [that's a crazy story I'll have to tell you sometime]. And, from my days @ParkChurch, there were countless stories of how people found out about Park through Twitter.
Twitter is a a simple tool but the good that it instigates and creates is non-negotiable.
Twitter launched a new initiative today that I’m already in love with: @twitterstories… real-life stories of how Twitter has created good, connected people, saved lives, given people a voice, and sparked movements. It’s beautiful, worth following and definitely worth the time to read.
And, being a church communications guy let me say this…
First, if your church or church leaders are hesitant to embrace social media, let this be yet another example of why it works and why it matters… you and your church MUST engage with social media. Just forward a few of these stories to your skeptics and see what they say. And use these stories as examples of ways your church could reach out and connect with people in your community. Creating good is just a part of “loving our neighbor as ourself.” Twitter puts you in direct connection with your neighbors and your community in ways that were never imaginable before. There are countless examples of how churches are leveraging this simple platform and reaching people with the Gospel.
Second, this again illustrates the power of storytelling. Stories create powerful human connection. Instead of just sharing statistics or information, this site brings the human side to the good being created by Twitter. It’s much more moving than some analytics. The stories are moving and give Twitter humanity beyond the technology… imagine if your church could create a similar platform for people to share their stories? Just some food for thought.
Thanks, Twitter for all you do. I’m a believer. Thanks for sharing these amazing stories and for giving us space to tell them.