"Blogs Present Innovative Evangelistic Opportunities"
GodBlogCon 2007 will equip you with a working knowledge of new media technologies and its impact on society, empowering your ministry to employ quickly and easily new media technologies to engage culture for the cause of Christ.
If you wanted to go, you missed it — it was last week.
CitizenLink (Focus On The Family) tells us, regarding GodBlogCon 2007, Conference Challenges Christian Bloggers to Reach Out; New media can be an effective evangelism tool.
For Christians, new media technologies such as podcasts, social-networking sites and blogs present innovative evangelistic opportunities. Last weekend, Christian bloggers from across the country gathered in Las Vegas for GodblogCon, the third annual conference to assist them in taking advantage of new media, understanding its impact on society and engaging the culture for Christ.
Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a keynote speaker of the event, encouraged Christian bloggers to be intentional, effective communicators.
“We are here not merely as Christians but as Christian communicators with the two words being inextricably related to each other, because to be a Christian is to bear a responsibility to communicate and to communicate in a way that befits the Christian Gospel and Christian Truth,” he said. “My concern ? is that we speak of new media in terms of our stewardship of these things for the glory of God and for the pre-eminence of Christ.”
A “Godblogger” himself, Mohler explained that because today’s youth are the most unevangelized generation since the early 20th century, blogs present the perfect opportunity to reach young people.
Here’s Dr. Mohler talking about “Godblogging” in a podcast recorded at the convention:
Does anyone else besides me feel like God and Jesus are being repackaged and marketed for the 18 to 34 demographic? Are these folk trying to save souls, or are they developing a web enterprise system for soul acquisitions?
Lord knows they seem to be angling for a hostile takeover of civil liberty legislation for non-Christians — especially for us “homosexual” and “transsexual” Americans.
NOTE FROM PAM: The conference was held concurrently with BlogWorld, in a set of suites adjacent to that con. I was there last week; and it was interesting to mingle with the folks at GodBlog.
The GodBlog con brought a wide range of people together — progressives and social conservatives were in attendance; I met up with conservative La Shawn Barber, and also had a nice long chat with Christian blogger (and jazz enthusiast) Michael LaPrarie about religion-based bigotry and greed in the pulpit. Many people, including some in the LGBT community, mistake the intolerant bible-thumpers one sees on TV or those trying to influence right wing policy from their DC thinktanks as representative of all Christians, and that’s not the case.
Another example of the kinds of discussions, from La Shawn:
Rhett Smith is up. He’s discussing social media sites like Facebook and how Christians can use the “new media ministries” in youth ministry. Rhett does youth ministry and was reluctant to create a page on MySpace. His online forum was getting little traffic, so he decided to try MySpace. He started getting visitors to his site. He also joined Facebook, a site that I have yet to get into.
Rhett said he had to go where the teens are. Put yourself in the shoes of high school kids, he said, or young adults. They’ve always had the online world, with social networking sites. For an oldster like me, even though I’m a blog consultant, I have no use for MySpace or Facebook. Yet. If you do youth ministry, of course, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with those sites.
I personally don’t have a problem with religious folks using new media to reach out to people; it’s simply a new form of expression, no different than any other tool in the toolkit — TV, radio, face-to-face contact. And it’s been difficult to retain the 18-34 demo in an age where the internet presents a world of opportunity to learn — and corrupt. Certainly religious progressives should be as visible and active as the organized religious right is, and are navigating their way, not having an outlet like televangelism, which is just about all you see on TV. Having them gather to talk about faith and community at a blogcon seems like a positive thing.