Tips for Riding the Viral Wave

20140205-001843.jpg Everybody is looking for the quick fix.

Ministries are looking for the express lane to viral posting. They are hoping for that swell that will push them into the spotlight.

When I was a youth minister, we provided our teens with some spiritual discipline resources and presented them with a challenge to complete several of them. If they completed the challenge, they were invited to join us on a trip to South Padre Island for Surf School. Three girls finished the challenge, so I booked a rental house and surfing lessons. The four of us jumped in the car for one of the most fun and memorable weekends in my youth ministry career. It was the first and only time I’ve ever surfed. I somehow managed to stand up on my first try.

So, clearly that gives me enough expertise to continue with my illustration. Continue reading

My Turn to Talk: Why Ministries Have Social Media Backwards

TalkEveryone is just waiting for their turn to speak.

Let’s take it a step further… Everyone is really just waiting for their turn to be heard.

Myself included.

You scroll through your newsfeed on any social media platform and it’s quite clear that every person and every organization has a message to communicate. We clamor for likes, favorites, comments, replies, shares and retweets, as if they were some sort of validation currency that we were heard. I sat down for coffee with a friend who has quite a popular family blog. Naturally, the conversation turned to social media*. She and I agreed that even when people have engaged and responded with our posts, somehow it lacked the intimacy that makes you feel truly heard.

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*I can’t help it. It’s kind of my job. Continue reading

How to Eat Popcorn

PopcornMy dad taught me how to eat popcorn.

I mean, there wasn’t exactly a lesson per se, but I realized as an adult that I had perfected the art of the grab-a-fistful-sweep-and-stuff motion. It’s quite efficient, really. I subsequently realized that it was less than dainty, so I have reformed my technique. (Unless it’s a dark movie theatre, then all bets are off!)

Popcorn is a wonderfully salty food. Have you ever tried to eat popcorn without a beverage nearby? It goes something like this, you eat a little. Then eat a little more. You’re good as long as you keep eating the popcorn. But eventually, you feel as if you’re dying of thirst, so you run for a glass of something refreshing to wash it down!

Here in Texas, we know Mexican food. One of the glorious aspects of a Mexican restaurant in Texas is the endless baskets of fresh chips and salsa they bring at the beginning of the meal. It has the same effect as the popcorn. You can eat the chips for a while. You can power on to more chips, but eventually, you’ll be driven to take a big satisfying gulp of your beverage of choice!

“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:5-6

Continue reading