The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Archive for Social network service

Come & Care – What Church Should Be About

A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oak...
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As Christians it’s easy to get caught up in all of the marketing and social networking of the rest of the world. We can say that we need to get back to basics, but let’s face it–Facebook and Twitter, cell phones and iphones are the way people connect now days.

It would have been odd for the church to never take anyone’s phone number years ago when the telephone was invested, because the church didn’t want to  get caught up in that technology.

That said, we need to remember that all of these social networking devices are TOOLS that we should use to carry out scripture. We should use them to reach more people — rather than letting them use us. I say that with a bit of guilty because I’ve told my son as he hovers over my shoulder, just a minute and mommy will get off the computer.  And I’m actually reading an article on how to be a better parent. Ironic, huh?

Occasionally I read a blog about church marketing and how “the church” can improve how it reaches out to people. When does it work right? When do we go overboard?

For example, one church in my town sent out postcards to the entire neighborhood, assuring them the church service would end early to accommodate the Chargers (football) game, plus, if they stayed and watched the game at the church on the TV provided, they might win some Charger’s gear. Is that cross the line into “tackiness” or is that just me?

Anyway, they recently posted this and it got my attention:

I asked my friend how he has continued to be a part of growing a healthy church community for so many years. Two words, he said, “come and care.”

Instead of spending his time trying to get people to come to church, he invests his time getting the people that do come to actually care. When people care, there is no longer an issue of getting people to come, he said. The people who care will get people to come which gets more people to care… and the cycle continues.

Don’t you love that? It sums up how I feel about churches but also about Rest Ministries. I’m going to repeat it…”The people who care will get people to come which gets more people to care.” (I wish I’d said it!)

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So Many People Online Do Care…

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...
Image by luc legay via Flickr

As many of you know I am trying to prepare for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. I am excited about September’s virtual conference! And this year I am becoming more active on the social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

What I have found is thousands of people who have so much passion for whatever illness or condition they are dealing with. For instance, if you search Twitter for #autism you will see hundreds, if not thousands, of people – both moms and dads — who are not only sharing their story with others, but who are advocates for the illness itself.

Blogs and Twitter have given every person a voice. And it’s also provided resources for those who want to talk about the topic. A mom no longer just vents about her frustrations over her child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) but can also share her challenge with other moms and give and receive advice.

She can provide a link for people to find out about what bills are in congress to get more services. She can link to a news story about the schools in her community cutting services because of the budget and urge people to make a few phone calls.

She may provide links to coupons for products that may be helpful, interesting facts about the illness, and links to inspiring videos.

And not only can she do all of this with her online community, but it can keep all the information in one place, so that the mom-friends she hangs out with at the park can find it all too without having to worry about brochures that are smashed at the bottom of  a diaper bag.

I’m the first to admit that I’ve spend some wasted hours on the computer but even those wasted hours have introduced me to some amazing people (like you) who have such a passion for Jesus and what He is doing in your life.

You are also a voice, and sometimes the only one it can seem, that speaks out about not just what is happening in our world, but how you find true hope by knowing that the Lord is in control of all of your circumstances, even when the news isn’t all that positive.

Sometimes I am torn about what to post and what not to post here. I think it’s important, for example, for people who are declaring bankruptcy because of health bills (see story below) to know that they are not alone and that it’s not a situation to be ashamed of, but rather the result of a system that is flawed.

And yet, do we really want to read about one more negative thing in the morning about our illness?

I’m always on the look out for GOOD news and how Jesus is making a difference in your day, in this world. I love to find amazing ministries who are quietly serving others and let you know about them. Please always feel free to drop me a link if you find such a story.

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