Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!

People are telling me they are on many sites and feeling overwhelmed. How can we be not just busy, but fruitful?

Our life can quickly fill up with activities.

We need to stop and think.

Am I just busy?

Or, am I being fruitful?

How do we know? How do we become fruitful?

Update on Easter - we have 36 replies and climbing! Many are extemely well thought out! Thanks for sharing!!!

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i am working on that very problem.....the creation of platforms that enable activists to gather data quickly, convert it to original content, and post it to all your relevant should also prune down your groups...

ask yourself this question:
does the group offer original value-added resources, tools, information to empower ME or to only promote the group itself?

dump the groups that don't do anything but write opinions and hunt for 'trolls'....focus on the groups that empower you and you first....we are a product...a noble product to be sure, the preservation of christian american values.....the american freedon principles...but we should act like a business, not a government agency...issuing grand edicts, unfunded fantasies

we provide a service of empowerment in a climate of growing oppression, but it is a service that MUST follow a business model to be useful and effective....

just some thoughts..paul
"I am unsubscribing from all sites where all sites are just posting videos and links to news articles or blogs. If I want news articles, I look for them myself. I join networks to hear the opinions and view the writing of the members. If they have nothing personally to contribute, I am not interested in seeing the last article by others that impressed them. I am unsubscribing from all sites where most "content" is such intellectual cotton candy."

There are a plethora of rss sites which are regurgitations of all the major sites out there today, but the notion that 'news-focused' sites are 'intellectual cotton candy' is dangerous to the whole project we are trying to create, a resource to gather and disseminate truth....

RSS Feeds, twitter widgets, and many other tools will be abused by infospammers in the same way that they exploit every new tool....but sites such I am trying to create, sites which provide balanced filtered views married with original investigative reports, radio shows, etc...

These sites are not, in and of themselves, sufficient to represent a group, but rather a possible layer of security that gives casual passersby a great overview of your group, and, hopefully, great reasons to join....

The contest with these types of news center sites is in the types of feeds chosen, the utility of the layout of the site, and, most importantly, the quality and regularity of the original content on the site.....think of it as a 24-7 tv show instead a one-stop place for news....more like a one-stop place for some niche view of the world....

Pick one or two sites you like. Limit yourself to the part of the site you like best. Check the recent stuff. Let the rest go.
Jack Frost said:
As a facebook user, I see many people spending a lot of time on there doing pointless things...and I'm sure from what I see of other social sites the same thing happens there.
Much as in other areas of our lives, we need to prioritize and use discretion and self-control to not overindulge ourselves. The internet is much like going to a buffet and seeing all that is there and thinking that you have to eat everything.

It is probably important to seriously look at our involvement in different sites and decide what is fruitful. Reading the news is something I do daily online. I also check my emails. I check my facebook account and my kingdominsight many times a week, typically. On occasion I check them daily, or if there is an issue I am following I may do it several times a day. That does not automatically make them the best use of my time.

I can understand the way one can become "addicted" to a variety of sites as the craving for more is always with us. It is part of human nature.

I believe that we must become harsh on ourselves and wean ourselves from our addictions, our cravings for more. Be ruthless in judging whether all of the sites that we spend out time with are actually a benefit for us or if it is just 'extra weight' we are carrying. I cannot do that for you, nor would it be right for me to say what is best for you, just as I have no say in your diet or your exercise or your healthcare. However, if one feels that they are so busy they cannot fit all into their day that is there to do, obviously something must come under scrutiny and a decision made as to what will have to go.

Becoming more fruitful would come about in part by the wise use of time and effort; becoming more efficient in what consumes us. If I know I only have 20 minutes to devote to kingdominsight, I should not spend my time browsing new members and blogs and posts to which I know I will make no response. I should go directly to the point of my visit and make the best use of my time, and if there is extra time available, then use if for further browsing. Facebook tends to draw folks into more and more constantly, until hours pass and one is surprised to see how long the session has been active. Some folks sit and wait for a friend to come on or to respond to what has been said and pass hours that would be more useful elsewhere. Employees keep such social sites up as a page behind the work at hand, hoping for a comment or a response or some new quiz or questionnaire whose sole purpose is to give the user a sense of self-worth, effectively patting the ego and giving self-affirmation.

If our goal is to glorify our God and Father, then these are the things that should occupy our time, be it through our home life with our spouse and children and responsibilities that lie within, or through our time as an employee or worker or boss and owner of our own business. All things, internet included, must come under the scrutiny of its use and its potential control of our time and resources for the best use.
I agree that we are in danger of wasting a lot of time that could/should be used on activities that would be more fruitful--i.e. what we are called to do. I am new to joining Facebook, etc. and don't want to have my time eaten up with reading or writing trivia! I can see already how easy it would be to waste a lot of time--by wasting, I mean taking time where I could grow by reading an inspiring or instructive book, praying, getting into Scripture, or writing a note or talking to someone who needs support. I know we all need down time, but we are also using up the one life we have--and everyday goes by pretty fast! Any comments? By the way, I blog at if anyone would like to check it out--just did four blogs on domestic violence, abuse, Rihanna/Chris Brown stuff. Also, you might check out my ministry website if interested,
The Internet is like a micro world. It simulates just about everything we do in the "real" world. For example, we learn online as we learn in school, we bank online as we go to the bank, we chat online as we chat in real life, we get our news online as we watch the news, we play games online as we play mini golf or bowl in real life, etc.

I think it might be a good idea to make a pie chart of your daily online activities to see how much time you spend on each site. The chart could be broken down like this: news/learning/gaming/socializing, etc.

Then, look at your chart after say, a week, and see how many hours were spent on each activity. It could be an eye opener and help you reevaluate time spent on each site.
It's interesting that the word bushel in Matthew 5:14 is the root word for busy...Jesus said we should not hide our light under a "bushel" (busyness). This is imperative and one of the subtle ways the enemy steals out time with God..keeping us busy.
Another interesting point is that one of the enemies Israel had to overcome to possess the Promise Land is busyness..the Promised land being a type of the Mind of the Lord!
Yes we live in a fast paced electronic age.. but the only way to safeguard against "busyness" and to build intimacy with the Father is taking time and what we like to call "soaking in His Presence". It's simply lying down, with soft inspirational music that turns one's heart towards the Father, and invite the Holy Spirit to long prayer list..not even praying....just allowing the Father thru HIS Spirit to come and touch us in the deep places of our heart!
It's our hearts connecting with the heart of GOD in Divine Romance!
Fruitfulness will flow only out of intimacy with the Father!
First, we need to prioritize. What is important in my life, and is my time spent on those important things? The season of our lives helps to dictate those priorities. As a person of retirement age, my priorities are vastly different than when I had small children. I find that keeping up with relationships and honing in on ministry tasks are very important. Ginger
I rarely watch tv...and I have a very high stress, emotionally charged job that also stretches me physically as a dialysis tech. So, for me some time on the computer is my relax and de-stress time(with feet up, of course)....I love to sift a few emails, and post on a few sites like my Facebook, and here. I love that at times I can encourage another person, or mentor a teen in a quick and precise way. It never seems like I waste that much time. And priase GOD! I have seen teen girl gave her life over to Jesus..ONLINE! Another teen was able to step away from cutting and destructive addictions. And I don't think she would have been as open with me face to face. And recently another woman with cancer was healed, and encouraged on Facebook throughout her illness. Not one wasted second...
From a leadership and staffing POV
Online ministry can and will expand to fill all available time without boundaries. Often times its more the administrative functions that edge out hands on, but both expansions are possible. From an admin side, put a hundred Christians in a church, and you will have trouble, put 10,000 Christian's online in a single community, and you will have even more trouble. The previous online ministry I worked with had stats that were multifold higher, but no where near that as concerns active participation, albeit the trouble level sure felt like it. LOL

From a pastoral intervention side, whether its a teenager intent on suicide, a sick person needing prayer, or comforting someone who had a loved one pass away, the needs are going to be there 24/7, and they are substantial. Unlike the 3D church, where a suicidal teenager is perhaps a once or twice a year event in a given church, in the online world, its many times a month for larger sites. This can and does lead to burnout, even with process and procedures to divy up and minimize the workload. Things like shifting staffing, and encouraging spin down time is critical. Unlike the 3D world, we didnt have post trauma intervention strategies, but its one of the things, had I stayed in that role, I likely would have pushed for.

I have no doubt the work we did was fruitful, granted, it is rare to get much feedback when planting seeds... but one can see it when it comes time to water them, and it was positive. In looking back, there were things we could have implemented to be more efficient, but alas hindsight is always 20/20. There were also things we did that majorly crashed and burned too... there really is no guide, and no one has experience, as each day is a new step into yet another uncharted territory. As far as how did we know? Detailed stats, folks sending positive feedback via email, comments from 3d etc. Stats can play a much larger role in this that would first be apparent, but alas thats a book in and of itself.

Ultimately, the key is boundaries... and yes, that can mean having to do some fast gear shifting, when one staffer has to go to work, to church etc, such that another party has to step in. The fun of managing volunteer staff... It also means things sadly, that important things will get dropped. Alas, the only way to mitigate this, would be if online ministry gets to the point there are enough people to serve dedicated slots 24/7/365 with a small reserve. We had 150 or so volunteers, but without dedicated slots, gaps often existed. Even with dedicated slots, it will always fall short, just as mega churches with huge staffs do in 3D.

I know this is a tad pragmatic, and a purist might say, that a clergy collar should never be taken off when in public... but even Jesus and the disciples often went off away from the crowds.
As a participant
Its easy to be busy... and building relationships online is pretty powerful, just as it is offline. Even the goofy facebook apps can be of use in that regard. However, just as in my leadership post, boundaries are key. One can do a lot of relationship building and upkeep in as little as 15 minutes a day, if one has a game plan behind it.

As far as being fruitful... I think one has to look at ones goals, but also keep in mind things like avoiding coarse justing, gossip, and mindless chatter. Ie, trivia is not always a bad thing, discussing tv shows can lead to better relationships, and that leads to real witness opportunities... but if trivia talk is the only thing, or if it becomes all consuming, its likely time to step back.

In another example, one might have a goal of sharpening the sword, thus to hang with liked minded people, probably isnt going to cut it, albeit it may be pleasant, but it could also create a false illusion of sword sharpening. By the same token, for a liberal to go hang at a discernment ministry, or a conservative to go to a hard core emergent site is likely to only result in heartburn, and a dulling rather than a sharpening of the sword islikely. Don't get me wrong, there are welcoming and fruitful discernment leaning sites, as well as hard core emergent sites, but the fruitfall ones dont spew conflict left and right, and as such their traffic levels are significantly less than the biggeys where bashing is key, rather than disagreement through mutual respect.

How do we know? As a businessman, I use goals, and the completion of said goals as a guide. Its a challenge in the soft typically metric adverse arena of ministry, but I think its helpful to stay on track. For example, as of late, I'm working through atonement theories, thus, I'm spending time with a lot of seminarian focused sites, specifically at highly difffering schools of thought. When I can verbally articulate all the theories of atonement, and witness to my specific beliefs and why I believe them, and not the others, this goal will have been met. A side issue of course, is during the process, the different seminarians I interact with are also growing. It is part of the edification process. Once this goal is met, I will go on to other ones, albeit I will still keep in contact with the previous sites, but no where near the same level, unless of course they are aligned with the goal at hand.

Yet another possibility is compartmentalization. Ie each site often has a unique character, and focus (or it should have, or its not likely to be around for every long) I try not to do seminary talk with folks hanging out at a Christian recreation type site, albeit sometimes it does come through, nor do I discuss politics, despite being very active in 3D. Both activities would be like wheel spinning for an audience that really doesn't care for it.

I do have 2 exceptions namely Facebook and twitter in that regard, being that I keep one profile, and it crosses all domains... makes for some interesting times, as I interact with a multitudes of faiths, beliefs, politics and lifestyles in that domain. I've had a few folks go... @#^% you tweet on too many topics. Some non-Christians like the scientific research tweets, and are likely aghast at Christianity, but they follow and RT anyway, likely the same will occur with the hedge fund guys I've recently connected with. In those cases, its more shotgun broadcasting, than specific dialog like in a focused forum or other social site. I will continue to do this for a year, and see what if any feedback occurs, and then make a call as to whether to continue with a single profile, or divy it up like I do with blogs.

While it is true that most of us have joined so many groups that sometimes it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to contribute something positive to each individual group, I do realize that this stems from our "caring nature" and the desire to help make a difference ...during these trying times. I am, however, a firm believer in that we should always put God first in our lives. I personally have had to apply much discipline in my own personal life to accomplish this. My morning prayers are my priority because I know that each and every day my prayer list grows longer and that there are people who are counting on my prayers, as my prayers are not like an elevator (that stops on every floor), but rather, they go straight to Heaven! Amen. When I go inside my little prayer temple in the morning, I’m usually there for two hours, but this is a very small price to pay when compared to the blessings I receive through my daily prayers. I guess basically what I’m saying is that if we sense we are spending too much time on the computer, or elsewhere, being “unproductive”, we must quickly re-group, click on the “refresh” button in our hearts …and seek the Lord. At the end of the day, without HIM ...nothing is possible.

"And Jesus said unto them ... , "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to younder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you."

Romans 1:17

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