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Kevin Colleran is Facebook Employee #2. Co-founder of the Social Media giant, he’s now 29 and a billionaire (on paper at least).
At a recent debate about “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” he suggested: “Try living a day in your customer’s media mix.” Jeffrey Rayport fleshes this out at HBR:
For example, if your target customer spends five hours a day on Facebook; sends 120 text messages and half a dozen tweets a day from a smartphone and posts photos, videos, and blogs around the clock; “checks in” regularly using Foursquare at favorite retail locations to become “mayor”; relies on a plethora of mobile apps like Google Maps to get from one place to another, RedLaser to check prices on SKUs at Kroger or Best Buy, and Fashism to crowd-source advice from others while shopping; goes online at RueLaLa and GILT for flash sales just when the boutiques open; and subscribes to Groupon or LivingSocial for alerts on local deals, there’s a good chance you might want to know what it’s like to live a life like that. There’s an equally good chance that (and this was Kevin’s point) knowing what it’s like to live your customers’ media might change the way you use marketing and media to reach, influence, and interact with your customers. It might even change what you do radically.
But Kevin’s point was not simply a restating of the Golden Rule. His was a new conception of it. It could read: “Interact unto others as they would interact unto you.” Or, to put a finer point on it: “Interact unto others as they would interact with others like themselves.” Marketers who ignore Facebook’s Golden Rule will do so at their peril. You’d better trying living your customers’ lives and experiencing the immersive realities of their media mix. Then, and only then, determine yours.
Ministering is not marketing. But to what extent should pastors follow this advice?
One of the things I love about the Old Testament is the way it communicates biblical principles in narrative form. As I read Old Testament stories, I’m always asking, “What biblical principle does this illustrate? What verse does this demonstrate?” Take, for example, the account of Absalom’s death in 2 Samuel 18-19.
1. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him (Ps. 103:13).
Although David had forgiven Absalom’s murder of his brother Amnon, and eventually allowed him to return to Jerusalem, Absalom continued to plot and conspire. He gradually turned the people’s hearts away from his father and towards himself, and eventually drove David from his home and kingdom. 2 Samuel 18 opens with David’s men beginning to organize a fightback. Yet, despite his humiliation at the hands of Absalom, David begs the soldiers, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” The best of love for the worst of sons. Such fatherly pity for such incarnate evil! And what an insight into the fatherly heart of God!
2. If God be for us, who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)
The situation looked bleak for David and his men. Their position, their numbers, their weapons, and their personnel all seemed to guarantee defeat. Yet they won a stunning victory that resulted in 20,000 dead. Was this the military prowess of David’s men? No! The trees, pits, and animals of the forest killed more than their weapons did (v. 8). This was the Lord’s doing alone. God uses the weakest and most unlikely instruments to win the victory, just as He did at Calvary.
3. He that exalts himself shall be abased (Luke 14:11)
Absalom died as a result of his hair being caught in a tree (v. 9). The hair that made him so proud was the means of his downfall. Joab finished the job by stabbing him three times in the heart, the young men then macerated his corpse, threw him in a deep pit, and piled stones upon him. How the mighty had fallen! He had raised up a monument to himself and gave it his name (v. 18). But he ended up at the bottom of a pit full of stones. From so high to so low – so quick. How many go from the highest positions in this world to the deepest depths of hell?
4. Honor your father and mother that your days may be long on the land (Ex. 20:12)
Absalom wanted to be King, even at the expense of his father’s life. He dishonored his father in every way – by his feelings, thoughts, words and actions. And God demonstrated that while, in general, children that honor their parents live longer, so those who dishonor them will often die sooner. And what is true with our earthly parents is also true in our relationship with our heavenly Father. He honors those who honor him, and blesses them with eternal life.
5. He that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me (Matt. 10:37)
God has graciously given us weeping as a safety valve for our grief. But sometimes grief can be excessive or misplaced. And David’s was both. When he heard the news of his son’s death, he wept and cried so excessively and loudly that the victory party was turned into a funeral service, and the triumph was turned into shame (2 Sam. 19:1-8). David completely lost sight of the Lord’s deliverance of him and his kingdom (and ultimately of the Messianic line), and saw only his dead son. It took ungodly Joab to rebuke him for loving the kingdom’s enemies and hating the kingdom’s friends (v. 6).
6. I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33:11)
Although David’s grief went too far, there were good and holy elements in it that show us not only David’s heart, but God’s. Despite all that Absalom had been and done, David cries, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom…O Absalom, my son, my son!” Twice he calls out his personal name. Five times he calls him “My son.” And then, stunningly, “If only I had died in your place.” No wonder David is called the man after God’s own heart. No wonder Christ is called the Son of David.
No, I’m not going to list them all.
But apparently, that’s how many definitions of leadership Warren Benson and Burt Nannis discovered when researching The Leader’s Strategies for Taking Charge.
Although we won’t find quite as many definitions of Christian leadership, they probably still run into the hundreds.
I like Joel Beeke’s definition: “Spiritual leadership is moving people by biblical means, in dependency upon the Holy Spirit, to do God’s will.”
Here’s my own: “A Christian leader serves God and His people by exemplifying godly character and conduct; by communicating God’s Word to everyone with wisdom and love; by excelling in vocational responsibilities; by uniting, equipping and inspiring God’s people for worship and works of service; and by preparing them for eternal life.”
It’s a bit of a mouthful and probably still doesn’t cover all the bases. Let me expound it a little.
1. He serves God and His people
The Christian leader sees himself primarily as a servant not a ruler. And he is a servant of God first, then of His people.
2. He exemplifies godly character and conduct
The internal life comes first. Without a Christ-like core, everything else will eventually decay and rot. But character does issue in external conduct. Modeling holiness of life is perhaps the most powerful and yet most neglected element of spiritual leadership.
3. He communicates God’s Word
Christian leaders read and study God’s Word in order to communicate it wisely and lovingly to Christian and non-Christian alike, as opportunity arises. He is concerned to speak God’s Word more than his own and to make sure all his own are consistent with God’s.
4. He excels in vocational responsibilities
He does not over-spiritualize leadership by thinking that prayer and Bible study will cover a multitude of incompetencies and inefficiencies in everyday life. He recognizes his duty to be organized, to be efficient, to keep appointments, to prepare for meetings, to inspire trust and respect by wise financial stewardship, etc.
5. He unites, equips, and inspires God’s people for worship
He unites God’s people in thoughtful, orderly, reverent and Word-centered worship. But He also leads and directs worship so that it reaches and inspires the heart and the emotions. Like the Father, he wants worship to be full of Truth and Spirit.
6. He equips and inspires God’s people for works of service
While prioritizing worship, he also teaches, trains, organizes, and enables God’s people to serve Him, His Church, and His World as their talents and opportunities permit.
7. He prepares God’s people for eternal life
Eternity is ever before him. However busy his life or his church’s life, however much he and God’s people serve here below, the spiritual leader is ever mindful that all this is all-too short preparation for the long world to come.
I’d like to hear your own additions, subtractions, or re-writes of my definition. But whatever definition we come up with, surely the more we learn what’s involved in spiritual leadership, the more we cry with the Apostle Paul, “Who is sufficient for these things?” And thankfully we hear the welcome echo, “But my sufficiency is of God.”
14% of wives spy on their husband’s e-mails
London School of Economics researchers have found that women are twice as likely to snoop on their man’s digital habits than the other way around. The Daily Telegraph reports that:
13% read his texts
10% check his Web-surfing history
An Aussie survey found that one in three cellphone users are text-message snoops, with most of them doing it while their partner was in the shower!
And 73% of Aussie wives who checked their husband’s texts found out things they wish they hadn’t. Only goes to show once again, that there’s really nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 7:21).
But as CNN’s Netiquette column notes, sometimes the e-espionage is accidental:
You grab your girlfriend’s phone to check the time — and bam, there’s a text from her ex-boyfriend. You crack open your daughter’s laptop to show her a Flickr album — kapow, there’s her friends-only Blogspot in fully accessible glory. You surf to Gmail the day after your friend used your computer, and hello, friend’s inbox.
So if you want to snoop, have snooped, or wish you hadn’t snooped, what now? Netiquette proposes three rules to keep our consciences clear and and our relationships healthy:
1. Don’t click on anything 2. Figure out why you want to snoop.
The second you make a move to read the rest of the text or scroll to see more of the illicit e-mail, you’ve gone from the snooping equivalent of manslaughter to murder.
Everyone’s favorite cat-killer (curiosity, that is) is a powerful force, but for most of us it’s not potent enough to compromise our personal moral codes. So if you’re just dying to check a certain relation’s browsing history or e-mails or texts, there are likely some real-life red flags that are bugging you….So man up and ask him or her about it.
3. Know when to call yourself out
What’s making you feel all squirmy? Are you bothered by the fact that you saw something that wasn’t meant for you, or by the content of what you saw? ….Take a deep breath, and reveal exactly what you were doing (grabbing her phone to find Tommy’s number, as requested), exactly what you saw (Was that a MySpace shot of a dude with his shirt off?!), and exactly how it’s making you feel.
I would add two more recommendations. First, install Covenant Eyes and make your husband or wife (a parent, friend, or pastor if unmarried) your accountability partner for your browsing habits. Second, have an open access policy with all digital devices. That means that your wife or husband can use all your digital devices at any time, that he/she has passwords to all your accounts for Twitter, Facebook, email, etc., and that you encourage regular checking. That’s not snooping. That’s Biblical wisdom.
In a world that tweets 100 million times a day, and Facebooks 30 billion pieces of content a month, is there any space left for “old-fashioned” blogging?
In his review of Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010, Brian Solis says yes:
Blogs are the digital library of our intellect, experience, and vision. Their longevity far outlasts the short-term memory of Twitter or any other micro network. In fact, with Twitter, we are simply competing for the moment. With blogs, we are investing in our digital legacy.