Why Am I Taking a Break?
It is with great difficulty that I have decided to take a break from my regular blogging and social media use. It has become apparent that I have been more concerned with building a platform for future book writing and speaking engagements than I have been with furthering my own relationship with God.
How devastating to realize and admit.
I am floored with how my good intentions of spreading the Gospel and Biblical wisdom of God in reference to relationships and Christian living have led to me becoming concerned with doing so to an unhealthy level. When faced with a choice to spend time in the Word and prayer with God and the chance to write a blog post, too often I have chosen to write a blog post. Though my intentions were good, the outcome has been unfortunate.
I must be filled up with the Holy Spirit before I can pour out, and it is for this reason I now must take my leave. I hope you understand, and I hope you can support me in that process. It is not right for me to place God second in my life, and it is not ultimately beneficial for me to pass on my own wisdom (or lack thereof at times...) until he is prioritized properly again.
Thanks to so many of you for investing your time with this blog. I hope that many of you will visit again once I begin posting again. I know that many times when a blogger stops blogging for an extended time, many people forget about him/her. This is an expectation of mine, yet I do hope that many of you will remain. I've appreciated my time getting to know you, and I hope we can continue doing so in a few months when I return.
Want to Be Notified When Blogs Begin Posting Again?
Many of you are already subscribed to the blog and receive emails whenever blogs post. To those who have done that, thank you. If you are not currently subscribed to receive blog posts in your email, please do so
. When I begin posting again you will be notified personally via email. I encourage you to do this for a few reasons:
To subscribe, please click here.
- It's incredibly convenient. You won't have to check back to see if anything new is posted.
- It's automatic. You will get a notification the day that I begin posting again.
- It is encouraging to me. Many have already subscribed, and I am deeply encouraged by this.
I now take leave of you. I will continue to check Facebook and Twitter on occasion to reply to any questions or comments you may have. But active posting will be minimal, if anything at all.
I look forward to talking with you again! Please feel free to email me
any time. I will always reply.- Joel David Onyshuk
Twitter Is a Powerful Thing
Well-known and respected leaders in the Christian world today have seen the great benefit of turning to social media to influence the world for Christ. Many important figures in the church post regularly throughout each week on Twitter and Facebook, using their clout and the power of the Gospel to change lives.
A recent New York Times article
highlighted just how powerful the message of popular Christian figures can be. Now, surely many readers will quickly notice that the Christian celebrities mentioned in the image on the right are two prosperity gospel preachers. I generally do not support their messages, as I find much of what they say to be biblically questionable or just plain wrong. Yet, from a purely mathematical standpoint, their impact is astounding. Just look at the stats. Joyce Meyer, with a tiny percentage of the followers of Justin Bieber, has much more of a Twitter impact than the youthful pop icon. So what can we learn from this? How can godly men and women, regardless of their popularity, make a difference in the social media realm?
I am just in the birthing pains of my social media push. Back in January I felt the strong leading of the Lord to begin to bring the message of Christ to the social media universe as well as the world in my immediate vicinity. Christians can make an enormous impact through the use of social media, and I felt that it was something God was calling me to do.In January, I had a couple hundred followers on Twitter. I didn't know how to use it, but I knew I had to learn: fast.
I began researching online, reading blog posts and books by popular social media experts, particularly Christian social media experts. I started figuring out how to properly hone my social media presence in a way that could make a greater impact for the Kingdom of God.
Now, just 6 months later, people who follow me on Twitter number close to 2,000. Clearly, compared to people like those in the image on the right that number is still pretty small. But that is 10x
the amount of impact I was making just half a year ago.
So What Do You Need to Do? Where Can You Start?
I compiled a brief list of resources of who/what has most impacted my understanding of how to utilize social media (particularly Twitter) more effectively for the spreading of the Gospel through Twitter. If you want to have a bigger impact of the world for Christ through technology, these are great resources to look into:
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This free e-book from internet pastor and social media fanatic Trevor Lund was a wonderful introduction to how I could pinpoint the right
kind of people to follow and interact with on Twitter. Having a big following shouldn't be your goal. Having the right
following should be your goal. Trevor Lund shows you how
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This is an invaluable resource. I have subscribed to receive all blogs from this site because time after time they have been gold nuggets of information. You can pay for his special information that he uses to advise big companies like Amazon, GM, Techcrunch and others, but his free info is enough to keep me busy. If you have a blog or want to increase your social media footprint, this is the site for you
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Michael Hyatt's book, "Platform", has proven to be an incredible resource, and it is a "must have" for anyone who is trying to market anything: books, seminars, themselves, etc. If you are trying to get noticed in a busy world where everyone is competing for attention, this book is for you
. I gleaned vast amounts of essential information for making my blog more user-friendly, increasing my social media influence, and writing my material in my book-in-progress more effectively.
So What Have You Done? Share Your Thoughts In a Comment!
Are you in the process of attempting an increase in social media effectiveness in order to further the Kingdom of God? Have you found anything helpful and effective in your experience thus far? I'd love to hear your thoughts, your personal recommendations, and your successes and failures! Let's learn together and change the world!
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Christian Social Media Usage
I am not a social media guru. I am not an addict. But I do use it readily and often to promote recent blog posts. I currently have active and frequently used accounts on Facebook
, and Google+
Now, I'm not the most popular guy in the world, but from January this year through today, May 17th, I have grown my total blog views per post by 500%. This has been, in large part, to my usage of social media accounts to communicate with the world in a unique and powerful way.Why do I say all this? Since I am on social media accounts often, I have the chance to personally view hundreds of social media account biographies per month. Because of the content of my blog and the type of things I regularly post on my various social media accounts, the main traffic I see consists of Christians, particularly those interested in meaningful quotes, thought-provoking posts, and occasional humor. Something has caused me some alarm, however.
When viewing the profiles of many self-proclaimed "Christians", I have noticed an unfortunate trend.Many people claiming to be Christians (on Twitter, sometimes this is signified by the hash tag #teamJesus") consistently post things using the following acronyms:
- Many more "shortened" methods of swearing and using God's name in vain
I find this extremely disconcerting. Who are we really kidding? Honestly, who doesn't "get" what is meant by those acronyms? No one is fooled, and it is no less offensive to God when we "kind of" swear or take his name in vain. Matthew 12:36 quotes Jesus himself, saying, "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak."
It is no small thing to be judged for every word that comes out of our mouths, and in the age of social media where everyone feels like they have the right to say whatever, whenever, and to whomever they want, I fear greatly for many who openly defile the name of God and cause the title of "Christian" to be tarnished.
Reasons We Need Be Careful What We Say
I'll admit, I could probably write other points down, but I would actually love to hear from you. Have you ever seen what I'm talking about on social networks? How do you handle it? Do you say something? Do you let it go? I'd love to hear your input on this very frustrating matter. So leave a comment below, and let's chat.Like it? Please share it using the buttons provided below, especially with those who do this very thing! Let's be good witnesses for God online.
- As mentioned earlier, we will be held accountable for every word careless word we speak. Ultimately, no, we are not just supposed to be able to say anything we want without any repercussions.
- As proclaimed Christians we live to a higher standard and we represent GOD when we speak. Legally, in some situations, we are allowed to say whatever we want. But if we call ourselves Christians, we do not have that "luxury." Does your speech represent God well on your social networks?
- As representatives of God, we may be the only representation of Him that some people ever see. Some people call themselves Christians, but post things (e.g., like the things mentioned earlier) that lead others to believe that Christians are no different than anyone else. But we are. We are set apart, a holy priesthood of God who are meant to live and walk according to the holiness of God that should be increasingly apparent in our lives...and others should see it and take notice.
- Self-proclaimed "Christians" who are poorly representing God also tarnish the name of other Christians who are trying their best to be a good witness to the world. I work hard to represent God well on social networks and my blog. Even when people are rude and disagree with me inappropriately, I make every effort I can to love my enemies and do good to those who curse me or my God. Swearing or using God's name in vain does not accomplish this. After working my tail off to demonstrate to others how I have been called out of this world to be a light and strong witness to who God is, it is extremely frustrating to see someone else completely trashing their witness and blending into the world so well that one would never know that they are even a Christian at all.
I was just recently enlightened to the Klout and how it works. For those of you who don't know, Klout synthesizes data from your social networks and figures out how much influence you have over a certain number of people. Regardless of whether of not you care to figure out your Klout score, the amount of influence you have over others is important to know and embrace, to a certain extent. For you naysayers who will inherently push back against this new sort of social network statistical monitoring system, consider the following...
Here are some reasons I believe you should care about your Klout score:
1. We are called to influence the world for the furthering of the Kingdom of God. Reaching out to others with effectiveness is part of our Great Commission. Like it or not, social networks are an extremely important method of communication today to embrace.
2. You would not be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. unless you truly did want to make an impact on others. We all want our voices to be heard and cared about. These days, social networks are one of the principle ways we connect with others. Although social networks have crippled our personal interactions in some ways, they have also opened the door to us impacting others all around the world with relative ease. Klout will give you both motivation to try different methods and the feedback to demonstrate your effectiveness.
3. This is a creative and effective method of target marketing that you can actually get involved in and be rewarded for. For those will high Klout scores, many companies are giving out free products to use for those who have high influence and sway within their circles of influence. You are targeted with marketing ads on almost all social networking sites already. This is an opportunity to personally benefit from it, rather than just be targeted.
4. You will have the opportunity to see, in statistic fashion, who you influence most and who is influencing you. Many times we can see where our focuses are in life by studying who and what we talk about, and what voices of influence are speaking into our lives on a repeated basis. In addition, if you have a goal of influencing a certain people group (technology gurus, religious thinkers, etc.), you will clearly see how your current methods are achieving or failing at reaching your goal.
Thought provoker - Are there any other ways that you see Klout as beneficial? Are there ways you see it as unimportant or harmful?