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Staff Picks of Free Sermons and PRO Church Media
People today have more ways to connect than ever, but are disconnected more than ever. We have cell phones, texting, internet, My Space, Facebook, Instant Messaging, but we are disconnected from the people in the room with us. Families need spiritual unity. Marriages need to be one in the Lord. Husbands and wives need to be in spiritual agreement.
Sermon Central Staff
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SING ABOUT?
Clarence Darrow, the famous atheist lawyer – once took part in a debate at a church in Chicago. In his attack on the Christian faith, he tried to play on the emotions of the black people who were there, and on their social misery. This was the heart of the depression he said – no money, jobs and little hope. He amplified their despair and frustrations. In one moment of eloquence Darrow said:
"I don’t understand it – you sing such great music – I have heard you singing here today – amid all the woes of life – how can you sing? What in the world do you have to sing about in the face of life like this?"
Darrow had asked a rhetorical question, not expecting an answer; like a flash a woman stood up right in front of him and said, "Why do we sing? What do we have to sing about? We have JESUS to sing about!"
They all shouted, "Amen!"
(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, Can you Judge A Facebook By Its Cover? 6/11/2012)
Content Creation by teens continues to grow, with 64% of online teens 12 to 17 engaging in at least one type of content creation vs. 57% in ’04. 39% of online teens share their own artistic creations online while 33% create or work on web pages or blogs for others or school. 28% have created their own blog, up from 19% in ’04. This is almost completely driven by the popularity of blogging among girls. “Content is created for an audience,” notes Pew researcher Amanda Lenhart. “For teens, the beauty of the Internet, particularly social networking websites, is that content can be created and easily shared among a network of friends. Even more compelling is that people in those social networks can easily comment and give feedback on shared content.” For many teens, social network sites are now an integral part of the system of communication they use to conduct the work of their lives. 41% of the teens who use MySpace, Facebook or other social network sites say they send messages to friends via those sites every day. (International Journal of Climatology 12/07)
MORE FROM TECHNOLOGY, LESS FROM ONE ANOTHER
Sherry Turkle, a professor at M.I.T. and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, has spent the last 15 years studying how our "plugged-in lives" have changed who we are. She claims that all of our technological devices have produced a world in which we're always communicating but we're seldom having real conversations. This is part of her conclusion:
"We are tempted to think that our little 'sips' of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don't. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places ... But no matter how valuable, they d...
RELIGION SITE VISITS DROP
Visits to religion websites in the U.S. are declining rapidly, dropping over 30% within the past year, down 35% the last two years, while visits to entertainment sites like MySpace and Facebook continue to soar. Visits to the top 1,200 religious sites in the U.S. accounted for only 0.18% of all Internet visits for the week ending 3/10/07. There are over 60 visits to adult sites for every one religious website visit. Religious websites receive 36% of their traffic via Google, Yahoo! Search and MSN Search. (Time 3/16/07)
When building a social network for your customers, donors or prospects don’t: 1) Misunderstand your target audience. The demographics of users on MySpace differ greatly from those on Facebook, Friendster and other social networks. When creating any site, be very specific about whom you want to reach. 2) Be impatient. Like any marketing strategy, building a social network takes time. With the potential of exponential growth (members reach out to each other and tell others), the time it takes to build a membership base is worth the benefits of having a captive audience ready to experience the brand and hear the message. 3) Assume people will discover it on their own. Success requires outside promotion either online, offline or both. Some advertise their sites in various media or on the product donor communication itself. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, but there has to be someone there first to spread the word. (1to1 5-6/07)
A small but growing number of parents are getting domain names for their young kids, some before taking their newborn home from the hospital. It’s not known exactly how many, but the practice is no longer limited to “tekky” parents. They worry that the name of choice might not be available by the time their babies become teens or adults. The trend hints at the potential importance of domain names in establishing one’s future digital identity. Think of how much a typical teen’s online life now revolves around Facebook or MySpace. (USA Today 8/22/07)
LOSING THE ART OF CONVERSATION
We live in a world of overwhelming access via phone, e-mail, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and the like. More than once I have heard someone say, "I got x number of e-mails at once with the expectation I would send an instant response to each one!"
I readily admit to you that it is easy to be overwhelmed with all of the "social media" and electronic gadgets that constantly call for our attention, even during the worship service!
There are articles and conversations about the state of conversation these days which suggest we are losing the art of conversation because we are not usin...
Status Spheres: a variety of lifestyles, activities and persuasions, which can be mixed and matched by consumers looking for recognition from various crowds and scenes. Contrast this with traditional consumption that is about buying more and/or better stuff than fellow consumers. Trend-Watching.com identifies these new consumer status spheres for '08. Transient Sphere: For those driven by experiences instead of the fixed—those who are driven by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. Online Sphere: In an online world or virtual world, social status is all about who you connect to and who wants to connect to you, tribal-style. It also encompasses status gained from the number of views for one's photos on Flickr, to the number of friends on Facebook. Eco Sphere: Millions of consumers are now actively trying to greenify their lives. Giving Sphere: Whether it's giving away your riches, your time, or sharing your (content) creations with total strangers, giving is the new taking. Participative Sphere: For younger (and younger-at-heart) consumers, participation is the new consumption. (TrendWatching.com)
55% of online teens ages 12-17 have created a profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace. (From Gary Foster)