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Relevance as Red Herring…

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders Saturday June 5, 2010
<? echo $type; ?> Relevance as Red Herring…

John Saddington is a web developer by trade, gifting, opportunity, and choice, has been “doing” online for more than 14 years, first for numerous Fortune 50 businesses and now as the Creative Web Director for North Point Ministries. A social computing strategist and technologist, he enjoys challenging and encouraging others to see how web technology is changing how we do ministry. He blogs frequently at ChurchCrunch.com and Human3rror.com and finds Twitter (@human3rror) both a fun little nuisance and vehicle for connection.

Hear from Kelly Dolan, after attending one of John’s breakouts at Orange ’10!

Just attended John Saddington’s second workshop today, this one about developing a social media strategy. I love that John is moving people beyond the “here’s how to set up a Facebook page” conversation, and asking them why they want to have a social media presence.

John told a story about a youth worker who, in a desire to be relevant to his students, made some serious errors in judgment that did more harm than good in his ministry.

This conversation continued to reinforce a key question for me: Is “relevance” a red herring to effectiveness in student ministry? Like an overvalued stock, have we (myself included) spent too much capital trying to help students know that we understand their world?

That’s not to say it’s not important at all, and it’s certainly not to say that we shouldn’t be working tirelessly to understand our students, but to what end? Is it enough just to do and say things that feel relevant to our students?

What do you think? What is relevance? How important do you think it is? What areas of our ministries might be most susceptible to an overvaluing of relevance?

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