Taking the Online Offline

Relationships. One simple word, but one word that can make or break or so much. One word that demands our focus and attention whether we like it or not. One word that God called us to – with Him and with others.

In a society where we live so much of our time online our view of relationships can become quite distorted if we’re not careful. We can develop a community that is a mile long but only an inch deep.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that relationships cannot be built or fostered through online interaction. What I am saying, however, is that we can’t let it stop there. If we do, we’re missing out. We’re missing out on depth and growth in community. We have to take the online offline.

I’ve always been a firm believer in that – taking the online offline, but my time at the Echo Conference last week reaffirmed that. Sharing a meal and great conversation or staying up well past 2am talking about life, ministry and the church is something that you just can’t duplicate online.

So here’s to being intentional about seizing opportunities to take the online offline…to have a face to face conversation with someone who you normally associate with a tiny square picture on a screen. And here’s to intentionally using the online tools to continue the relationships when distance makes offline impossible.

Different Eyes

A couple of weeks ago I read this: “…the experience of many travelers today, who compose their experience through camera lenses as they go and then take the pixelated images home with them in place of memories,” in this article: “Too Many Lenses, Too Few Eyes.”

A couple of days ago I listened to photographer Esther Havens speak at the Echo Conference and was challenged and inspired. Three thoughts she shared stuck with me:

1. Don’t just go to tell stories, be a part of the story.

2. Are you doing a job or connecting with people?

3. Awareness without action is pointless.

The full connection of these two things is still processing in my head and I don’t know exactly what it means. But, I do know that I am challenged and inspired to do something about what I see and what I know…and to see with different eyes…eyes that are not always my own.