Be A Digital Disciple

Faith-Based Social Media and Website Consultant

The Gospel According to Twitter?

Twitter… the epitome of our short, direct ways of communication. When we are running between work, family, and other commitments, 140 characters seems to be all we can take in. It makes sense, then, that people are trying to share the Gospel one tweet at a time. The question is… does this really work?

Let’s say you love a particular Bible verse and you tweet it. For you, that might be a powerful message being sent out into the “Twitterverse” but will it have the same impact on others? One article from titled Is Tweeting Scripture a Waste of Time? asks us to think:

  • But what about a Scripture without context to the rest of the chapter, the sermon you are preaching on, or the impact it has had on your life?
  • Does it move you to jump into the Word? Do you feel convicted to pray or serve others?
  • Are you moved to sing songs of praise to God after 140 characters?

Mind you, the type of tweets talked about in this article are just the verse with no imagery or explanation included. These tweets, while important to the writer, might not be the best way to spread the Gospel. As the aforementioned article states, many individuals want to feel connected to and not preached at. The way to reach others is through relationship and connection, not being talked at and told what to do. I am not saying that all tweets that exclusively share Bible verses are meant to be so directive but try to imagine reading it from the perspective of someone who knows little to nothing about the Bible or Christianity. What message are they getting from your tweet?

So if sharing straight Biblical verses isn’t the direction to go in, how do we use Twitter to share the Gospel? It’s all about contextualization. We all contextualize the Bible, whether it be in preaching, daily conversations, or (for church nerds such as me) theological debate. We take what we read and apply it to our lives. As another article from titled Communicating #thegospel in 140 Characters states “The best communicators have learned to say meaningful things in short and memorable ways. They can deliver big truths in little packages.” We want to apply Bible verses to our lives without looking the essence of the verse itself. We want to share the Good News in our actions and not as a single quote  that can be glanced at and passed over. “…we want to make sure our messages aren’t watered down or “junk food”, but actually possess the Bread of Life as He is portrayed in the Bible.”

Let’s look at some examples of contextualization:


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These are three examples of ways people have used words, images, and links to contextualize the Gospel and make is relevant on a platform like Twitter. So go forth…. find the Gospel in your life… and spread it like wildfire!


Youth Ministry and the Internet Materials

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 10.15.17 PMThis month I have had the great opportunity to lead discussions on Youth Ministry and the Internet. I am going to do a full write up soon on these discussions but I wanted to get out some of the materials that I have been using.

I see Social Media as a tool box that churches can use in order to build up disciples in Christ. Here is a list of what is in The Tool Box.

Want to know which websites, books, and other media I use for currating information? Check out my Resources Here!

Want to see a great, basic social media policy for your church? Check out this policy provided by

Lastly, want to see my Prezi presentation? Check it out here!


I Love You But You Take All My Time!

So you might have already become aware of this (if you aren’t… where have you been?) but I love social media. I love it for churches but also I just love it in general. My one problem with this love affair is that it takes all my time! It seems like there is a never ending flow of information that I want to share, comment on, or blog about.

I want to share this article because I think it has some great tips on using your time efficiently on social media. This is made by so it is a little self promoting, but I do think the information is valid. So take a gander and then leave me a comment!

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What should I have on my website?

5-Important-Things-To-Include-On-Your-Church-Website1-750x400A website is a necessity of any faith community but what should you put on that site is sometimes questionable. This article has five great ideas on where to start. There are some key pieces that almost any faith community should have on their online home. From there you can personalize and make your website a clear representation of your authentic self. So start small and basic and work up from there.


A Theological Imperative… What’s That?

Recently I was asked to create a workshop called Youth Ministry and the Internet. I was ecstatic for the chance to put on this event but I wanted to gather more resources. I took this as my moment to buy all the “church and social media” books I have always wanted to have. Lucky me!

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 5.26.55 PMI got my books and started reading. My first book was Speaking Faithfully  by Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wison. As I started reading, something stood out to me: the term “Theological Imperative”. Two big words, one strong message.

First, let’s break down this term. The word “theology” refers to the study of God and what that study leads us to believe. The word “imperative” means vital importance.  To sum it up: Theological Imperative = share what we believe about God NOW!

Jim and Rebecca’s theological imperative is to share God’s message  with others just as Jesus and his followers did. In Matthew 28:16-20 (written on the right hand side of this screen) Jesus commands his followers to reach out to all people in order to create disciples. The Apostle Paul took this command and traveled far and wide to tell people about Christ in any way he saw necessary. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-21, Paul writes

19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.…

Paul used what was available to him to speak to those he was witnessing to. As Paul used any tool he could to spread Jesus’ message, so should we. We need to use what is available to us in order to share the Good News.

Who has not heard about the unconditional love that God has for us? Who believes that there is only one voice for the Christian faith and that voice spews hatred and bigotry? Who has been on the outside of our buildings and can’t find a way in? Who are we trying to reach?

We need to use all the tools available to us to reach out and speak to our hurting world. Bringing yourself or your faith community online is a powerful tool can be used. It might be just one way to communicate, but it can reach so much farther than we realize. It can reach into homes, shelters, libraries, and news outlets. It can each into minds, hearts, and souls. That is where discipleship starts.

Jesus tells us to go make disciples and Paul tells us to use all of our tools to do so.  This is our theological imperative.


“Vines” for the True Vine

“You know what I love? Tons of writing and trying to get what I need from a dense article”-said no one ever.

Text in some instances is great, like in this blog for starters. Have you noticed, though, that I never have just text? I have color and videos and pictures. To the eye, text is overwhelming and dry. The more color and imagery we have-without taking away from the content– the better.

Pictures and graphics are used frequently in posts by faith communities and others. What about videos, though? Many people think it takes too much time or costs too much money. Never fear! Your computer/smart phone/tablet is here!

Videos on your devices can be effective for faith communities. Saying thanks, giving a behind the scenes look at events, or even making a quick devotional are all ways to use videos for your ministry. This article  from shares some ways to use videos and how to make them look great. “Vine” is an app you can get on your phone or tablet that creates very short videos which you can easily post to your website or social media platform.

Also, videos are a great way for people to get to know you or your community. Watching and hearing someone speak is much more personal than a written post. Let people see your authentic self!

Below is a video I just took on my computer. I have recently made an ad for my Facebook page of Be a Digital Disciple and have gotten quite a few new followers. I wanted to make a video to say thank you and to talk about about what my goals are for my business. This took me 10 minutes to do in front of my computer.

If I can do it, you can do it.


The Facebook Prayer

Today I was on Facebook and I found this meme*. It made me stop to think about the ways we use social media in our lives and what, as faith communities, we can do online.

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Facebook and other social media are great tools to send your message out to others. You can show the best qualities of your faith community and brand yourself as whatever you want to be.

The question is, what does social media send in to you? Social media has become a place where people feel free to share parts of their lives that they may not be able to tell others. It may be too difficult to talk face-to-face about a topic but is easier to type about it on a computer. The joys that come daily are also expressed online. Selfies are a way people show their happiness. People share more to a screen may times than they do to a face.

This sharing is key to being online as a faith community. By taking a closer look at the sharing on social media, we can see prayers in the form of memes, posts, shares, retweets, etc.  A blog post was written by Edward Dunar on using Facebook as a form of prayer during the time of Lent (full disclosure- Edward is my husband and I love this blog).  This is the way he prayed:

  1. Begin with a moment of silence to enter into God’s presence. Offer a short prayer for God’s wisdom to guide you in your prayers for your friends and the world.
  2. Open Facebook. Start at the top of your newsfeed. Read the first post slowly.
  3. After reading the post, reflect on the following questions:
    • How do I feel about my friend’s post? Am I judging my friend or jumping to conclusions? If I have a negative reaction to the post, why?
    • What does the post tell me about my friend’s life or state of mind? Is my friend joyful? Is my friend pensive? Is my friend lonely? Is my friend suffering?
    • What kind of prayer response does the post call for? Does my friend need prayers for alleviated suffering? If my friend is celebrating, does the post call for a prayer of thanksgiving? If my friend is being cruel or judgmental, does the post call for a prayer asking for my friend’s heart to be softened?
  4. In the silence of your heart, offer a short prayer in response to the post. Ask God to bless your relationship with the friend. Even if the person is someone you hardly know, there must be some reason why they are on your Facebook feed. Pray about that connection.
  5. Move on to the next post. For the purposes of this exercise, don’t skip anything. Even a post that seems inconsequential might give us surprising insights when we lift it up to God in prayer.

Social media can also be a way of noticing if something is going on with a person by the fact that they are not posting. If there is a person who posts daily on Facebook and you have not seen them post for a week, they might need a call. Are they sick? Do they need someone to check on them? Social media usage (or lack there of) can be a warning sign that someone is in need of help and prayer. Colleen Young, Christian Sinclair and Naheed Dosani have written a great blog post on what could be going on when social media streams go silent.

Take a moment today to pray through your social media lists, be it Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. It might feel weird but you will know that your prayers are in direct response to someones needs or joys. It can be a very fulfilling experience.


*an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet. (from


Hashtags (#) are great tools on social media. If you create a post and put #UCC with it, anyone who searching for #UCC will see your post. Hashtags are a way to share your information to more people than those who follow you.

Hashtags can also create movements. #bringbackourgirls was created when 300 girls were abducted  in Africa by Boko Haram. This hashtag was used to bring awareness to this horrendous crime and to motivate others to do something about it.

#CampMovesMe is a campaign by the American Camp Association to raise money to send children to summer camps. A person creates a video saying why they love camp and then they choose an athletic event to do. Once the person posts the video, they add #campmovesme and the web address to it so others can pledge money in support of the athletic event and to send a child to summer camp.

This tactic can be used by faith communities, as well. What if you created small videos of members saying why they came to church and pair it with a hashtag? You could let others learn about your community from your members. The hashtag could be something like #whyigo or #myhomeatstpauls (if your community was called St. Paul’s). If you publicize this hashtag, you can use these videos as a way to evangelize to others. This is just one way a faith community could use hashtags. What are other ways? Leave me a comment with your ideas!


You, Sin, and Christ’s Redemptive Power

This fantastic Video explains  how Christ works in our lives. Homemade videos are a way of sharing your story without words. This simple 30 second video is evocative and yet simple. It proves a point without having to edit or “glitz” it up in any way. Websites and Social Media can harness the power of videos like this to share what your faith community believes in without knocking on doors or standing on street corners.

To recreate this video you need:
You = water
Sin = water+iodine
Christ = water+bleach

(Just w little)
Enjoy it! Pretty power message!

Where to Find Good Pictures for Church Use

We know that people learn not only from words but from images. Websites and Social Media work best when there are visuals to go accompany posts. The question is, where do you find pictures that are free to use and are high quality? This article has links to many resources for such pictures. Each has its own standard for copy writing so make sure to read through each website to make sure you are compliant. is a wonderful website that comes out of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching (CMT) at Virginia Theological Seminary. It is run by a a friend of mine Charlotte Hand Greeson and her co-worker The Rev. Matthew Kozlowski. Take some time to look around at the resources they have for formation at all stages of life.


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