A few weeks ago my grandfather passed away. He was 79 years old, and a technology geek. It runs in the family.
My grandfather has built computers for banks and financial institutions since 1960. It’s pretty crazy to hear about actually. Giant rooms and computer tapes with processes that needed to run in under 24,000 characters.
So why do I share this you ask?
In our super connected society of twitter, facebook, checking in, smart phones, and technology oozing from everything we produce, I have began to question true connectivity.
A different kind of connectedness…
We have hundred of friends, followers and fans. Our churches have twitter accounts and fan pages to “stay connected.” We push life status updates, silly notes, podcasts and everything in between to the web. But it was at my grandfathers funeral service that I learned about a different kind of connectedness. A type of connection to local communities and personal relationships I fear may be a thing slipping away from our twittering generation.
Being the designer/artist/geek of the family, I was tasked with printing the service pamphlets. We printed 200. Thinking 75 – 100 for the service, and some for mailing to those out of state, saving, etc. We ran out. 200+ people came to a small memorial service in Loveland, Colorado.
You see while my grandfather was a computer geek, he invested in people everywhere he went. Listening, serving and being there for his co workers, neighbors, church family, and family–his change of residency to heaven was deeply felt. People who have known him for 50+ years came to share their stories and celebrate life.
Are we really connected?
Trying not to get too sentimental here, but I think back to the way things used to be. People called each other, and they mailed letters before that, they served each other anyway they could. Paul wrote letters of encouragement, prayer and guidance to the first churches. Jesus invested his daily life into 12 very awkward, random and unlikely heroes.
In this super connected technology world, I feel like we are connected, but no where near the same way. I think about my 100 friends on Facebook (a number I try to keep as low as possible for focus reasons) and the hundreds of Twitter followers. How legit are these relationships? When was the last time I personally called, emailed, or served one of these people?
Challenge: Invest in people
As an organization, how often do your staff/team members personally reach out to the community in a real, personal and tangible way?
I want to challenge you, and your church. Invest in people. Please don’t coast on technology. I know its easy and I know its fun. Use that technology, that social media network to connect. Send a DM, post on a fans wall. Offer support, prayer and encouragement. Set a standard. We will be the most connected staff, and each of us will personally invest in a social medium fan/follower daily. Or something like that.
Make it measurable, and trackable. Then hold each other accountable.