Why social media became important to me…
About 8 years ago, a time when I went back into the secular world of work after some voluntary work in Africa and some theological study at Cliff College. I worked as a forklift truck driver. I already had the licences needed and it was the easiest area to go into, I was offered a job on the permanent late shift.
Living in a rural area, job opportunities are rare, and although my hours were not ideal, I was very pleased to be employed. This did however mean that I could only be involved with church activities at the weekend, or have any other sort of social life, If I wanted to go and do anything on an evening I would have to book time off work and use up my leave.
At that time, my only real contact with Church was on a Sunday. This for me is where the importance of connections and online community became so significant. I was friends with tutors and students from my time at Cliff on Facebook and twitter, following what they were up to and what was going on in the wider church.
Twitter later became a very important tool of communication, I followed Methodist conference online. A few years ago I experienced the first Remembrance twitter service which I preached on the very next Sunday, these events and outreach opportunities have increased dramatically. In my opinion, for people who are unable to attend what is going on at the local church level due to working and social life or for those who are not yet at the point where they feel they can walk through what can often seem like intimidating doors, especially when your not sure just when to stand or sit down. Being able to engage, have conversations and share what is going on around us can be invaluable.
Through twitter I met others who were candidating for ministry, I had even been following a twitter user who I am now studying with. It was through twitter that we realized we were coming to the same place.
Don’t be afraid to make connections with others, for me it kept me connected with church and was a tool which helped me to engage and keep challenging my faith and how I expressed myself.