I’m always looking for people in ministry who share my love for social media. People like Rhett Smith, Tony Steward, Cynthia Ware, and John “Human3rror” Saddington inspire me to dig deeper into what God is whispering through Web 2.0. New mediums like Twitter, Facebook, and UStream.tv, I believe, have yet to fully realize their potential. These people help me to see new ways in which they can be used.
A few weeks ago, I contacted Anne Jackson of FlowerDust.net. Anne’s another one of those “social media ministry” people who get it. She’s got a new book out, “Mad Church Disease“, which takes a look at church burn-out and the toll which ministry can take on individuals. She’s also a whiz at getting people to congregate on her blog. (Just take a look at the comment count on some of her posts!)
So, I asked Anne a bunch of questions. She answered them. I’ve split the interview into two parts. The first one is below and the second will come out later next week. Enjoy!
Anne Jackson Interview, Part 1
BeDeviant.com: First (and easiest) question, tell me about what you do right now: How did you get here? What do you do, specifically? Biographical stuff, etc.
Anne Jackson: Right now I am involved in a few things. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m on staff at Cross Point Church in Nashville where I help protect our pastorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s schedule and time, do some communications stuff, and get to love on people. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a fun journey in ministry over the last five years. I also write as much as I can, when I can and have a book coming out called Mad Church Disease, which discusses healing from the burnout epidemic in the church today. My husband and I live in Nashville.
BD: Tell me about the concept behind your blog. Why Flowerdust.net? If you were to boil down the purpose of your blog into a few sentences, what would it be?
AJ: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a community. In a way, I see it as a gathering place. I pay $6 a month to host it, share some ideas, and let the people who visit discuss them or put them into action. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of a hub for things in ministry, in the world, and life.
BD: How do you see the Church using social media (Twitter, Facebook, UStream.tv, MySpace, etc.) effectively? Ineffectively?
AJ: I think it can be used effectively by not putting any preconceived notions on it. Letting it go where it goes and influence who it influences, and not being concerned with being the biggest or best.
When churches, or the people who make up the church, care more about stats, link love, and stirring up controversy is when itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s being used poorly.
BD: Tell me a powerful or memorable story from your blog. In other words, how have you seen what you do through your blog change peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lives? What is God up to?
AJ: Over the last year, somewhere in the realm of $125,000 has been donated or committed to charitable causes all by the actions of just a few hundred people. That is amazing. It has nothing to do with me, but again, just allowing people the space and opportunity to live out their faith is such an honor.
Part Two, coming soon!