My twitter feed has been filled today with comments from
#cnmac13 the Christian new media awards and conference. I’d wanted to go but
lack of time and an unwillingness to pay £100 in rail fares got the better of
Conferences like this bring out the good and the bad in us.
Do we really need to do the ‘put people on a pedestal’ thing with best blog for
x, y or z? And is there not a real danger that this preferences those who fit a
certain type of Christian mould? Yet, conferences also create space to
encourage, share ideas and practice as well as connecting like-minded people.
Clearly, there are reasons why the church should want to
engage with social media. It is the communication method of our time, as
letters were for the early church. It provides opportunity for sharing
Christian perspectives in the ‘virtual’ public square and building
relationships. It creates a space for reflecting together theologically.
Inevitably the theological resources people reach for at
events like this are similar to those thinking about emerging church; no doubt
because both are responding to rapid cultural change and looking for foundations
to build something which is can be differentiated from recently inherited
models of church. What I would like to see is more thinking on the nature of relations, persons and how these inform a theology of social media (makes mental note to write paper one day).
So where might this take us?
1. Multi-voiced church is here to stay, the days of single
voiced church are over. This doesn’t mean preaching is dead, but interaction
will be the norm and social media will be one way of enabling this.
2. We have to work hard if we don’t want Christian new media
to become the preserve of a small number of powerful media platforms. It’s
largely happened to political blogs, it will be a shame if it happens to Christian
3. The really interesting social media revolution will be
what happens next: blogging, facebook and twitter will give way; people will
tire of inane drivel, the need to monetise platforms with adverts will kill
them off, networking will need to be more nuanced than ‘friends’.
As I said, I wasn't there. But if I come across any good blogs from people who were I'll post them in the comments below.