Social Media – A Temptress or Tool?

I seriously can’t decide something, and it’s been on my mind and heart for over three months.

Is social media — Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs — a wooing, misguiding temptress or a tool?

I know there is lots written in this regard, but hear me out.

On one hand, I know that using facebook, twitter, and blog posts can provide tools, resources, motivation, insight, growth — and all in the name of Kingdom expansion. Personally, I’ve been motivated, resourced, and have grown and gained insight through all of these means.

On the other hand, it can be a nasty distraction and a source of unchecked pride. Let’s face it, social media is generally designed to build your platform and self-promote. I cringe every time I post a link to a blog post I wrote, but should I? Is the time I spend on these simply a temptress wooing me away from real Kingdom work, real Christ-centered ministry? Is the time spent on these a source of egotism and pride and a way to shine the light on ourselves more than Jesus Christ?

Youth Pastors and others, I don’t have the answer here.

Maybe through time, understanding, and more with God, I will.

In the meantime, I’d encourage everyone to wrestle with how we use these tools. If they aren’t bringing glory to God and making Christ known, I’m doubting that they are a good use of time.

I love this post, by the way: Discussion on Christians and Technology.

Come on people, I want to know what you think: Temptress or Tool?

Collaboration & Decision-Making In Youth Ministry

I love to collaborate. I love to gather information. I love to search and seek out the best ways to do youth ministry.

Maybe it’s just who I am or maybe I was taught early on that I’m not the smartest, the best, or the one with the brightest ideas; whatever the case, I simply LOVE learning.

In fact, my top “strength” according to Strengthsfinder is Learner.

But everyone knows how much information is available these days.

And it’s overwhelming!

At times, I become paralyzed with an overload of information. I can find supporting studies, articles, and view points on the best practice for effective youth ministry in several different areas. Each day, I am bombarded (actually, I bombard myself) with blog posts, twitter feeds, facebook links, and books.

At some point, a decision has to be made and a direction has to be determined.

Yesterday, I was having lunch with one of the most accomplished and Godly pastors I’ve ever been around. He told me something that, for me, is incredibly profound.

He makes a decision when he is 80% certain.

80%!

Maybe this isn’t shocking to you, but for me, I try to usually make sure I’m like 99.9% certain of the answer and direction. I want to know if other people have tried it, where it’s worked, how it’s gone, etc, etc., until I have a percentage that is at least above 95%.

Here’s the problem: Decisions are rarely made. New directions are rarely taken. Calculated risks, despite uncertainty, are rarely chosen. I think part of the reason I attempt to get a 99.9% change of success if because I don’t want to fail and I don’t want to let anyone down.

If I adopt this 80% rule, I won’t become so overwhelmed by all the competing information. I can make decisions by being fairly certain, but not 99.9% certain. I can take chances once in a while, knowing that people will be disappointed, but resting assured my identity comes in Christ alone.

What does it take for you to make a decision? For youth pastors, what type of decisions have you been avoiding — waiting for more certainty — that you just need to give a green light to?