Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Four Keys to a Successful Twitter Chat

We have been running #MKBibleChat for over 3 months now and currently average 25+ chatters actively participating each chat and countless others who follow but rarely comment.

I was just randomly thinking about why our chat has moved forward and "succeeded" and thought I would jot my thoughts in the form of a short blog.

In good sermonic fashion, I organized the "keys" into 4 points, all starting with 'P'. Here they are:

1. Promote
2. Personality
3. Probing Questions
4. Persevere

1. Promote: seems simple but most who try to get a chat going simply don't get it. It takes a LOT of consistent tweeting and retweeting to get the word out. Every hour or two a quick tweet letting people know when the chat is and what it is about.

2. Personality: you have to have one. People are drawn to someone who makes an effort to be interesting, different, humorous, insightful. In other words it does take some effort to make your tweets interesting to others. What I call "broadcast tweeting" will not cut it.

3. Probing Questions: boring standard questions on the chat won't work. It takes some thought, and work. Learn to ask good questions through reading up on the subject. Sales training books are an excellent resource. This is a learnable art, but it doesn't just come naturally.

4. Perseverance: hang in there. It won't happen overnight. We started with only 3 or 4 chatters and it didn't grow to over 10 per chat for more than a month. Many times we would go backwards--less chatters or a weak night due to a poor choice on my part of subject. Don't be discouraged; learn, correct mistakes and keep promoting.

Let me revisit one very important point: questions. Pontificating, broadcast tweeting, or making statements and using a chat to "teach" your point of view generally won't work, unless you are Rick Warren and John Piper and people hang on your every word.

A chat is a discussion and holds interest because of the discussion. I have seen chats start and generate interest, peaking at 10-15 chatters, and then drop to 2 or 3 friends, usually because the leaders makes statements and doesn't know how to ask questions and lead a discussion.

So those are the four keys; I would add (but can't think of a 'P' word) be interested in your audience. Off chat follow up with people and realize and practice "it's not about you". Especially for those running Christian chats the goal has to be to serve. Serving involves learning about other's lives, interacting and praying for them.

So that's about it. Not very deep; just common sense. Hope it helps. Chat on!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Now Thank We All Our God

The amazing and inspiring story of Martin Rinkart, author of the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God":

German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two. As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day - some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services. Yet living in a world dominated by death, Pastor Rinkart wrote the following prayer for his children to offer to the Lord:

Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother's arms,
Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.
"For momentary, light affliction is producing an eternal weight of glory..."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Christian and the Holy Spirit

This is the lesson from Campus Crusade's "Ten Basic Steps to Christian Maturity". It is great background material for our chat on the Holy Spirit-- #MKBiblechat. Join us at 7pm PST/10pm EST Wednesday, November 16th for a great discussion.

Never chatted?  See http://www.mkbiblechat.blogspot.com/ for a simple step-by-step 'how-to'.


While there is a degree of divine mystery to the nature of the Holy Spirit, He definitely is not a bundle of warm feelings or good memories. Neither is He a vague cosmic force.
In this lesson, you will study biblical evidence proving that the Holy Spirit is a real person who loves and cares for you. You will also discover why He came and how He can make a difference in your life.

The Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is not a vague, ethereal shadow, nor an impersonal force. He is a person equal in every way with the Father and the Son. All the divine attributes ascribed to the Father and the Son are equally ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
  1. Personality (a person) is composed of intellect, emotions, and will. In I Corinthians 2:11, what indicates that the Holy Spirit has intellect? What evidence do you observe in Romans 15:30 that the Holy Spirit has emotions? How does the Holy Spirit exercise His will as recorded in I Corinthians 12:11?
  2. Find the word that describes the nature of the Holy Spirit in each of the following references. (John 16:13, Romans 8:2, Hebrews 10:29, Romans 1:4)
  3. What is His function, or role? (John:14:16,26, I Corinthians 3:16, John 16:13-14, Acts 1:8)
  4. What specific actions does the Holy Spirit perform? (Acts 13:2, Acts 8:29, Romans 8:14, John 16:7-8, Romans 8:26, II Thessalonians 2:13)
  5. What are His attributes? (Hebrews 9:14, Psalm 139:7, I Corinthians 2:10-11)Why
Why Did He Come?

  1. What is the chief reason the Holy Spirit came? (John 16:14)
  2. What will be the logical result when the Holy Spirit controls your life? How does the diagram below compare with your life?
  3. How does the diagram below compare with your life?

Life Application

  1. Write one new insight you have gained from this lesson concerning the Holy Spirit:
  2. In what area of your life do you believe the Holy Spirit needs to be more in control?
  3. What will be the result when He is in control?

Monday, November 7, 2011

God is My Highest Good

This is a baptismal statement that Philip Henry wrote for his children (he was the father of Matthew Henry, author of the popular one volume commentary of the Bible)

I take God to be my chief end and highest good.

I take God the Son to be my prince and Savior.

I take God the Holy Spirit to be my sanctifier, teacher, guide, and comforter.

I take the Word of God to be my rule in all my actions and the people of God to be my people under all conditions.

I do hereby dedicate and devote to the Lord all that I am,
all that I have,
and all I can do.

And this I do deliberately, freely, and forever.