The Mississippi Conference has learned that for the church to grow larger it must learn to grow smaller. “Growing smaller” means building means of community among churches, pastors and laity that provide for communication, dialog and interaction in safe, non-threatening ways.
With the expanse of technology, tools for social utility and communication have expanded dramatically. Today, e-mail is “old art” as texting, instant messaging and other forms of immediate contact take center stage.
The Mississippi Conference has created two simple tools for communication and building community through technology. First, the annual conference recently launched a new Mississippi Conference blog where individuals can share their thoughts in the forms of original posts or by commenting on existing posts. The blog is moderated by the Message and Media team of the conference. Although comments that are personally degrading and inappropriate will be monitored, no topic is off limits.
Second, the conference is now in the “Facebook” world. Facebookers can join the Mississippi Conference UMC Facebook group. It will allow for communication and updates among those members who have joined.
Finally, beginning in October, the conference will have a vPistle and podcast page where ongoing conversations about ministry and programs of the church will be available for downloading.
“We want to support the ministry and message of the Annual Conference using whatever tool is necessary” said Shane Stanford, team leader for Message and Media. “Of course, we want to provide a variety of means for folks to know what is going on, but we should also not be afraid of new technologies. Hopefully, these additions for communication will only provide more and more connection for our brothers and sisters of the faith”.
Watch the conference web site for more information.