Is social media a waste of kidmin’s time?

Is social media a waste of kidmin’s time?

Jan 4, 2011

Is social media a waste of kidmin’s time?

This is not a debate, rant or even a knock against anyone. It’s a question I recently asked myself that has lead to some serious soul searching. The whole reason I got in to social media was that I felt isolated. I was in a place where I didn’t know anyone in kid’s ministry and the few who live near me seemed too busy or too negative. On top of feeling alone I was also going through one of the hardest times of ministry since I had started. One day on Facebook a Children’s Pastor name Chris Bos IM’ed me and we begin to talk about our ministries and life; after a couple of days of talking to him I opened up about what I was going though lately. I talked to him about what I was dealing with at the church and how I felt alone. He open up and shared with me how he had gone through the same situation and how he had gotten through it and how God use this hard time to his glory. Chris lives 15 hours from me and to this day I have not met him face to face, but he has played a huge role in my ministry.  This is proof that God can use social media.  I really enjoy getting to know other kidmins, sharing ideas, and even encouraging others in ministry through Facebook, CMConnect, IM, email, twitter, and Skype. The world is wide open to us to meet and learn from others in kidmin. But lately there has been a negative trend in Kidmin social media.

Twitter fakes:

What could have been a humorous look at the stereotypes of kidmin, turned quickly into personal attacks at anyone and everyone connected to Kids ministry or Family ministry. The comments seemed fueled by jealously, pride, and frustration. One comment that really annoyed me was made by fakekidmin. The comment basically said I started a blog so I can regurgitate what the veterans of kidmin are saying. Well I listen, take notes, and digest what the veterans are teaching so from this comes the abundance of my heart to blog and run my ministry.

What I wish fakekidmin had done was make jokes about the stereotypes and wild circumstances’ that Kids Pastors find themselves living. It would have been funny and encouraging.

CMConnect Debates:

I’m right, you’re wrong! Debate over! Oh but you say God called you to do that? I’m sorry it does match the call God has placed in my life so it won’t work!!! Sorry!

I’m not against debate or expressing your view but at what cost? There are leadership principals that are always true. They are biblical and time tested. When we see leaders who are not practicing these principals, we should teach them. But not every kid’s ministry looks the same. Depending on whom you’re trying to reach, the method maybe different. You may not think its cool but that doesn’t mean its not effective. Why put someone’s calling down? Who does it help?

So Is social media a waste of kidmin’s time?

I believe Social Media can benefit Kid’s pastors and help grow amazing leaders. I believe Social Media can also encourage those who feel alone or like giving up. It’s a place of idea and resource sharing. I think it’s time to check our hearts. Lets use Social Media for edification of the church and not destruction of the personal calling.

Are you new to kidmin? Looking for resources and great leadership? Here are a few places to start:

Infuse Leadership Mentoring Service

http://www.jimwideman.com/infuse.html

CMConnet

http://www.cmconnect.org

CMConnect is the free social network for those called to serve in children’s and family ministry.

Kidology

http://www.kidology.org/

a website where each day over 20,000 children’s ministry leaders and volunteers find help, ideas, training, and resources that enable them to most effectively reach and teach kids.

Children’s Ministry Talk

http://www.childrensministrytalk.com

Children’s Ministry Talk is the podcast devoted to providing straight talk for children’s ministry leaders, by children’s ministry leaders, on all things related to children’s ministry. Hosts Dick Gruber and Jason Rhode answer your questions, discuss current trends and issues, and help share their perspective on contemporary children’s ministry.

Blogs I follow:

13 comments

  1. Much like other things, the social media faze can easily turn into a contest of who can create the quickest, most witty comeback.

    I’ve learned to let social media (twitter, facebook, blog) simply be the front door to some new relationships. To really go to another level in any relationship, we have to connect outside of what brought you there.

  2. Joe McAlpine /

    Awesome post man! Remember…We met on facebook! I know you and I have talked personally about this many times. I am glad you finally posted it.

    This post wins the award of best blog post of 2011 in my book!

    And you’re right, I think @fakekidmin was an embarrassment to the kidmin community.

  3. Terry, I really enjoyed your post… found it via twitter after Joe retweeted it. I really enjoyed your perspective and appreciate what you are saying.

    I completely agreed with your take on fakekidmin… I’m glad twitter booted them and hope there is no “come-back” tour. It started funny but we didn’t need the cheap shots.

    I don’t know what to make of the debate thing. We just have to rise above the temptation to fall into back biting. If you ever see anything that goes over board, please let me know and I’ll step in if necessary… I appreciate those who have strong opinions about everything. My strong opinions are limited to my relationship with God and my family.

    Oh… and I love that fact that you and Joe “met online” and that “lead to the birth of RENEW”… yes, I mean that to sound as awkward as I can possibly make it sound … if you know what I mean… and I think you do. ha.

    Seriously, thanks for all you do, for linking back to CMConnect/imakidmin, and for all you do to serve the King!

    • Thank Michael, I really enjoy CMConnect!

    • On the CMConnect Debates, I just fear that sometime we forget that ministry is hard and we’ve all been called by God to make a difference. I don’t mean it as a slam against CMConnect more as a reminder to love each other.If that makes sense? I would have to discourage someone who’s already discouraged just because I don’t get what they are doing. I think the key is loving each other at any cost. Michael I love what your doing for kidmin, and for the kingdom.

      • I understood what you meant and didn’t take it as a slam in any way… thanks for the clarification, though… I totally get what you are saying.

        If I can do anything to serve let me know!

        Oh… and nice haircut. lol

  4. Thanks for the post! Being a “digital immigrant” instead of a “digital native” myself, I have wrestled with not only keeping up with social media & tech, but also with it’s place in ministry. I believe it DOES have a place, but it must be kept in it’s place (so to speak). I like Jonathan’s thought that it’s something to use as an introductory tool, which is what it’s been primarily for me. Sure, it’s a tool to get your links & stuff out to more people, but I’ve benefited so much from just meeting new people in the ministry world and, hence, become acquainted with their ideas & resources.
    Thanks again for your thoughts!

    • Greg, I agree with you and Jonathan. Thanks. Not only have I made great friendships but I also found resources and have learned from awesome leaders.

  5. Lots of good points. I think you have to dictate to social media what you want out of it and set up clear boundaries for yourself. It can be a huge blessing or a big distraction who decides which one it will be? You do.

    Great thoughts Terry.

  6. Ironically i found this post from a tweet from the newest fake kidmin (@thefakekidmin). forgot to mention that in my comment.

  7. Interesting post. I was a bit ambivalent about the whole @fakekidmin thing at the time. I have to admit that it started as a humorous distraction but quickly got old as distractions often do. I guess I missed the personal attacks the it devolved into. All I noticed was that it was all the craze one day and gone the next.

    As for the CMConnect Debates, I suppose I missed those too. I have noticed that there are some in the community who go beyond just opinionated to militant about their positions which is a shame. For the most part, I have found the online kidmin community to be open and embracing. I guess like most things in life, you have to separate the wheat from the chaff. The wheat in this case is definitely worth it. Like you, I have developed some great friendships with people I first met online.

    Thanks for the thought provoking article!

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