Yes, you read that post title correctly.
Social media has significantly improved my life.
Now: many people lament the effects of social media on the body politic, reporting how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest accentuate our differences and polarize our nation.
And, if you’re United Methodist clergy, social media certainly helps to divide our denomination.
Yet despite the grain of truth in the previous two paragraphs, the overall effect on my life is markedly different. On the one hand, social media improves my preaching because it forces me to be both provocative and brief. The character limitations on Twitter have empowered me to grow in wordsmithing, which in turn helps me advance as a preacher.
So there’s that.
But there’s more. Through the modern miracle of social media, I have developed friendships with United Methodist pastors from around the country whom I would never have met in the old, pre-internet days.
And chief among those friends is Aaron Mansfield of Morehead UMC in Morehead, Kentucky. Why do I love Aaron so much even though I’ve never met him in the flesh? The reasons are, um, legion.
- His first Twitter avatar was Phil Lynott, the late, great lead singer of Thin Lizzy. Are the boys back in town? Yes, yes they are!
- He’s from Kentucky. As in, Asbury Seminary Kentucky.
- He’s committed to mobilizing the congregation he serves for evangelism and discipleship.
- He gets in the trenches with children’s ministry. Here he at Morehead’s recent Vacation Bible School.
- And … the church he serves gives a copy of Head Scratchers to every first time guest.
We haven’t met in person.
But we have done a podcast together. It talks about welcoming guests to church, resources for spiritual growth, and a shared love for sharing faith. Check it out here:
Also with the help of social media, I know about pastors from around the country who are using my Crash Test Dummies book as a guide for sermons at their church.