I’ve been quite bad tempered this morning. I’ve looked at the CNMAC13 shortlists, had conversations about the truly terrible idea of giving awards for sharing the Gospel, and been reminded that saying ‘thank you’ is no bad thing.
It comes back to the point of why I use Social Media (which as you all know comes down to staying in touch with friends old and new, and dishing out a bit of encouragement in a world which can be discouraging. Yes, I’m just trying to live out and share the Gospel). See, I think the CNMAC conference each year is a fantastic idea. Get people in a room (lots of rooms actually), to teach and learn about different types of social media, some of the nuts and bolts of how they can be used, and to explore the theology of what Christians are up to on the internet, and what God is up to on the internet. It would be even better to hook up with people who can’t get into the room, who can’t travel, who don’t have the time, money or bodily strength to get themselves to and across London. Share the practice, share what works, be brave and share the mighty failures…..
However, I am much less sure about the CNMAC Awards. It’s open to me to nominate people as tweeters, or nominate blogs, or indeed various classes of website. I could even nominate myself (I didn’t, I wouldn’t). But if the underlying point is actually to live and share the Gospel, then how come some people get awards? Are we setting people up on pedestals as such great Christian tweeters or as influential Christian bloggers? Of course we are. I do not see how we can pretend otherwise.
BUT it’s interesting to look at some of the blogs I’ve never heard of. It’s interesting to see if any tweeters have passed me by from whom I might get encouragement. It’s great to have a look at websites considered to be engaging, and see what I can learn (for the record, I think some of the designs are inspiring, some of them do nothing for me at all!). So is there a way of pointing out the stuff that other people might learn from, without putting those people/sites on a pedestal? How do I say thank you to Christians doing their best on the World Wide Web, without handing out awards which are so easily misconstrued as meaning I think they are “good Christians”?
Because wherever we share the Gospel, wherever we shine the light of Christ, it isn’t about me, or about you, or about us. Let’s give the glory where it’s due.