Monday, June 10, 2013

Biola.Digital Conference – Observation 1

I gave two presentations about “mobile” at the Biola.Digital ( conference in La Mirada, CA last week. The conference focused in large part on the use of technology in ministry or, per the web site, “…vision, knowledge, and relationships necessary to be thoughtful stewards of digital technologies for the cause of Christ.”

To a degree, the use of technology in ministry has the same issues as in any other setting – ensuring adequate server capacity, building a social media presence, dealing with an audience with different technology skills and equipment, etc. But, as in so many markets, the use of technology in ministry also has its own peculiar problems. One, noted by Jason Caston ( in his presentation “How to Get One Million Social Media Fans”, has to do with the use of social media in a personality-driven environment.
For example, let’s say church X has John Doe as its pastor. (This might just as easily be a conference or company with a specific person as its face.) Pastor Doe has written books, appears in videos on YouTube, and so on. Pastor Doe is the face of the church. For whom does the church solicit followers on social media, Pastor Doe or Church X? It’s important because the departure of Pastor Doe might throw the church into turmoil or kill it outright. The answer appears to be to solicit social media followers on multiple tracks – the personality and the organization. It seems self-evident, but many self-evident things aren’t until after the fact.