Tag Archives: Social media

Why Social Media Shouldn’t be Your Own Paparazzi

Social Media tends to make everyone a celebrity. By definition, status means, “high standing, prestige.” So every day that people update their “status” on social media, some cleave to that kind of thinking. 

Born from this are the hundred selfies people post online, the carefully cropped photos, and the separation of private life from public life. I read an article on how social media was set up like a paparazzi so everyone could feel like a celebrity. If you study how the successful marketers like the Obama campaign managed their social media, you would be left breathless at the success of it. I see social media in a different light. 

What if every Bible-only believing online Christian paid attention to what they posted? What if we examined our profiles as if we were an unsaved secular person? What would our social media say about us? What if every Bible-only believing Christian united together and posted with purpose and forethought? 

Yes, we’d each have our different denominations, but every Bible-only believing Christian church could unite while maintaining their individual personalities. I propose we leave the scandals of church out of our media, stop bashing church leaders online and on the golf course, and keep accountability within each individual church, using social media instead to help propel the Gospel first.

I’m building a new movement.

Will you help me fund it? Will you join me? Let’s use social media to shine Christ’s light through us into a dark world. Study the successful campaign of the Billy Graham Crusades, and you’ll see the foundation in which they built their organization. 

Learn more by clicking on this link:www.gofundme.com/TRCMagazine 

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Sponsor a Missionary

Many missionaries don’t like writing newsletters, blogging, or doing social media. If you know of a missionary who needs lessons in understanding the technology, saving time, and social networking and blogging, talk to them. One of the services I offer is called, “Sponsoring a Missionary.”

You and the missionary agree they need to learn the technology, understand how to do it, and get used to the time-saving techniques so it doesn’t interfere with their public ministry. Then, you email me at nikolehahn@thehahnhuntinglodge.com to negotiate terms and a price. I work with all budgets. I will email you an invoice, and once you pay that invoice via paypal, send me the missionary’s name, email, and phone number.

From that point, I work with the missionary. Your part is done. Because missionaries don’t always raise 100% of their support, sponsoring them to learn the necessary technology saves them money. My client list is confidential. This means, a missionary who would like to blog under a pseudonym, will have his or her personal information kept confidential to keep them safe in the country that they serve.

If this sounds like something a missionary friend of yours would like to learn, email me.

Five Ways Your Phone Offends People

phone

Technology can be advantageous, like in furthering the Gospel, deepening family and friend relationships, and making communication efficient. I love my phone and how it makes spending time with my husband easier, but your smart phone might be dehumanizing people. Here are five ways you might be offending people:

Talking at The Cash Register: When you are buying groceries, put away your phone. No phone call is so important that it can’t wait til you are through the line. What you say to the cashier and the bagger by taking the phone call is: “You are not important. You are nobody.”

Paranoia About the Cell Phone Causing Brain Cancer: If you worry about your phone causing brain cancer, you probably put your phone on speaker every time you answer it. Nobody wants to be a part of your phone conversation. It’s disruptive, especially in church or in a quiet coffee shop where people generally go to work. If you are that paranoid about the phone, get a landline or don’t answer your phone when around people.

Checking Facebook While Having Coffee With a Friend: Put away your cell phone and focus on the conversation. When you meet eye contact with someone as they are talking, you make them feel good, like you are involved in their life. You give them worth. You can always check your phone while they go to the bathroom or if they step away for a refill.

Talking Too Loudly: Answering a cell phone at a restaurant might be offensive, but if your voice rises above the noise level of everyone around you, you are being disruptive to a captive audience. Be aware of people around you.

Texting Across The Room: Remember when your mom said not to whisper in front of people? Texting across the room is a lot like whispering and is unnecessary. If you have to “whisper,” go to the bathroom and text your friend quickly. But, as in number three, texting across the room is rude. If it’s only you two in the room, texting is not an efficient way of conversing. Why not just talk to each other?

I blame our lack of people skills on how fast the technology came upon us. Parents and children took to the technology like a child with a box of crayons in front of a newly painted wall. Most have exhibited behaviors that before were taboo, like talking on the phone while paying for groceries or texting each other when you are in the same room. You control the technology; the technology doesn’t control you.

Callling People to New Ways of Thinking

differentpersonalitieschurch1

“In the same way, as you call people to new ways of thinking, relating, and serving, spend time preparing them as best as you can. Honor their questions and concerns; remind them that they are not alone.” – Lead Like Jesus, Day 192

This reminded me of page 58 in Never Go Back by Dr. Henry Cloud:

“Show people the water. Show them how cool and refreshing it is. When they are dehydrated, tell them that water would help them. Tell them how much you would enjoy drinking water together. Show them what it has done for you. Burp loudly. But realize that you can’t make them drink. That is something they will do only when and if they want to. Remember…they are free to choose.”

When you want to change someone’s mind, you can’t hit them over the head with a proverbial stick, especially when talking about social media.

Social media is not well received by most in the older generation, and while Christians post dozens of selfies of themselves in the bathroom or play hours of candy crush, 32,000 Mormon missionaries were given ipads at a steep discount by their church to draw people into their cult through proselytization. The Mormon church recently recognized the internet as the mission field in a time when the traditional Christian church is experiencing a decline in membership or attendance.

In fact, less than 40% according to Gallup, actually attend church. Most, “regular church attendee gets sick or sleeps in. The other reason may be people who tell us they go to church but are worshipping in non-traditional ways, such as small groups, people meeting in gyms or school libraries,” says Gallup via churchleaders.com. While pollsters are saying church attendance is declining, Charisma and other sources indicate church attendance is growing, citing the reasons of conservatism or house churches and small groups. Overall, the Mormon cult has many pluses which make them successful. This is not to say I agree with them or believe that they are Christian in any way. But there are some lessons we can take from them:

1: Mormons make great neighbors, friends, and co-workers. They are always ready to serve, help, and are very dedicated to COMMITTING to their church and family. The Christian church seriously lacks commitment especially in ages 55 and under. David Jeremiah said on a radio show the other day how we are a “multichoice” generation, always wanting to “keep our options open.” How many gatherings in real life have I attempted where people said “maybe,” and never showed up with so much as a phone call or an email or a text? How many don’t marry and instead live together? How many gatherings went ignored without a decline? How many people said, “I don’t know what I am doing yet,” to an invitation for something a few days away? It’s like they are waiting for something better to come along. Why aren’t we the great neighbors, spouse, friend, and co-worker that our Mormon neighbors are to us?

2: Mormons do not put down each other or their other stakes or wards (churches). However, Christians do a great job of cutting each other down in websites such as Sundays are The Worst, and various other blogs around the internet over the years. In this, we can take a lesson and talk directly with the people who have offended us; or shake off the dust, and get a new group of friends, or a new church. Plus, Christians like to leave comments that cut down each other in harsh tones. That’s not to say we can’t be constructive in our criticism rather than judgmental in tone, or disagree with each other on some level while still coming from a place of love.

Some Christians hear the mission call online, but one of our pastors said the other day how Twitter has become a news feed of links, and not a conversation. I have seen both. I describe Twitter to newbies as a national and international conversation. Christian authors on my own news feed appear to only post about their books or other people’s books without appearing to have any serious conversation with other people. We’re scattered with our different motivations instead of united. In fact, a comment on a church Facebook site showed intense loyalty to that particular church as if that church was the only one with an “authentic” sense of community. He reflected a past hurt. The internet is a powerful influence. It has a real, online community of people, but in order for us to be effective in this new mission field, we need to take our internet and social media seriously.

These are some suggestions:

1: Missions organizations can recognize officially the new mission field, send out missionaries online to connect, tell the story of the Gospel, and encourage local church attendance.

2: Church congregations can learn the new technology. Older patrons can use simplified versions of social media like Twitter or have their grandchildren assist them in posting a blog to share the rich life experiences of their past before their story ends.

3: Christians can use their social media time wisely to show interest in other people, pray for them, participate in discussions without feeling defensive if they can’t answer the questions. Write down the questions and ask a pastor. Get back to them with an answer. Or refer that person to someone who can answer it.

4: Talk positively about your church and community experiences. When we are tempted to talk about our hurts, ask yourself, “What can people learn from it? Am I transfering my pain on other people? Or is there a God-lesson coming out of this?”

5: Resist the temptation to call out people online. Confront them. If congregation members are acting badly, talk to your congregation. If someone treats someone badly in a public place, be the friend and say something from a place of love. I’m not saying that abuse stories or testimonies should not be shared. On the contrary, they should, but safeguards must be put in place and the story coming out should be God’s story in your life. This is a lesson I learned as a blogger.

I have a plan in the works which will launch later this year. A new website. A new direction. If you are interested in partnering with me, please stay tuned to this website. You can also email me at nikolehahn@thehahnhuntinglodge.com to ask to be put on a special newsletter to receive invitations pre-launch on how you can get involved. We can all learn from our past mistakes as bloggers, from life, and humbly admit when we are wrong while celebrating what God is doing in the world and among us.

For those with questions on the cults, I encourage you to go to Christian Ministries International. It’s a great place to start your research. Or ask your pastor.

“God will back His gospel, not some man-made, watered-down message. God will back the exaltation of Jesus, not some muddled, every-path-leads-to-God nonsense. God will back the call to take up the cross and live for Him, not some flesh-pleasing success formula. God will back biblical standards, not some meet-me-halfway, worldly-wise compromise.” – Charisma

 

 

 

 

I Have a Dream

In the next few months, I will change the direction and look of my blog. God has put a mission on my heart, and I am busy trying to make that into reality. Catagories will be restructured, erased, and simplified. Book reviews will still happen. My about page will change. My logo, “Life Upside Down,” will be retired, and a new one put up. My old blogs will remain, but you may have to search a bit to find them, or click on the soon-to-be archive page. Old blogs are good.

New will be better. 

Be patient. I can’t reveal yet what that mission will look like, but I promise you...it will be truly dynamic. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a dream.

How to (Badly) Write a Missionary Letter

Admittingly, I bypass reading most missionary letters. Either I do not know them personally or they come off as sounding like they hate writing missionary letters. I connect with those who let their reader into their hearts and write for real–People who inspire and motivate. 

So I compiled a list of how not to engage your readers:

  1. Make sure your missionary letters have lots of grammar and punctuation errors.
  2. Make sure your missionary letters SOUND like you hate writing it. Make it as dry as possible so people will be sure to unsubscribe to it.
  3. Don’t write what really happens on the mission field; write what people want to hear and aim for support.
  4. Write the bare minimum of missionary letters because your words can’t possibly influence anyone in the United States. Maybe have one show up in people’s inboxes once a year.
  5. Don’t utilize social media. After all, the internet is from the devil and you have more important things to do.

Okay…so I went a little heavy on the sarcasm. You’ll probably add number six with something like, “to get people to unsubscribe to your blog, write a post like this one.”

In truth, missionaries have a lot going on beneath the surface. Working in foreign ports and away from home must take a toll on them at some point, but few really share those struggles. So someone wishing to be a missionary may look with wide eyes at the “glamorous” lifestyle of a missionary without seeing the hurdles. For instance, the books and blogs that opened my eyes to what God is doing out in the world weren’t written with the donation in mind. They inspired me.

Books like:

Recently, I devoted a short time to actually read the ones I usually throw away. It surprised me how dry they were, and some surprised me, because they had improved over time. Those stories were more personal and came off well-written. Never underestimate what social media can do. If not for the Voice of the Martyrs and grass roots movements on bringing the stories of persecution to light, we would never know the amazing things that God does in the world, or how He is moving in the United States–our own backyards.

Hope is on the move!

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase this item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I might use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Stop Writing Blogs That Accuse The Church

Change happens through relationships,

Yes, I’m still thinking about Sunday’s Are The Worst. It bothered me that much. Even as I scan my old blogs and other blogs, I am wondering if we need to stop writing blogs that are general accusations against the church, and instead, be the friend and stop bad behavior on the spot? Be the pastor, and talk to the congregation member(s) who are behaving badly?

Do you know how many blogs are anti-church? I don’t know either, but over the years, I have read a lot of them. It’s exhausting watching the anti-church blogs garner all the media attention. I said to a friend the other day how we eat our own for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Who needs an atheist to talk against us?

We’re doing a pretty good job of that ourselves.

While I believe in blogging and social media, I also believe in measuring every word I write or speak. Sometimes, I fail, and for that I apologize and ask that you forgive me and keep me accountable. My goal is to build up the church, help them succeed, and to show them how to be a light on a hill in a world of constant night. In writing, we are taught to show and not tell our readers what is going on in the character’s world.

Let’s practice that rule in life. Tell about scripture, the wonders of Christ, of Heaven, but also show the fruit of that belief from observing others in action to our own actions. It’s not pride. It’s not building platform. It’s finding something good to write about and letting our voices meld with other voices to be louder than the negativity. Blogs that write against the church may have genuine reasons for doing so, perhaps out of frustration, or maybe an attempt to start change or a national discussion. But how has change happened in life?

Change happens through relationships, mentorship, and standing up and for something. It begins in your church, in your neighborhood, through intimate conversations in social media, and it’s never too late to shine a light.

You Could be a Rock Star

fakeprofileSocial media allows people to create whole new identities through false bios, and photos found through image searches. Why?

This article shows how some of the reasons to create a false identity are harmful to your children. Other people in the past have used a false identity to bully or manipulate someone like in the cases where cyber bullying led to a victim’s suicide. writers use pen names to keep their privacy or for safety, but the key difference here is you know it’s a pen name.

You can also create a new identity for your real name through the clever use of status updates, carefully done photos, etc.

In the end, the people doing harm or playing the game of pretend still have to go to bed at night with themselves. They still have to look at the real them in the mirror each morning. And even though they fool the world, they cannot deny what they are or escape their self-made prisons.

If this is you, can I encourage you to make a u-turn? God gives second chances to all those who ask, even if you have caused harm to another individual.