#JustMissions is a Twitter chat my friends
(host of the Engaging Missions podcast) and
(author of Slow Kingdom Coming) and
I, Gena Thomas
(author of A Smoldering Wick)
are having to bring people together to talk about missions. There is much yet to learn about missions, and we want to create a space for collective movement on the topic. If you are interested in missions, an avid mission tripper, a missions trip leader/pastor or organization, or even thinking about missionary life, we invite you to come be a part of our online community.
You can click on the #JustMissions tab on my website or go here: http://www.genathomas.com/justmissions.html for updated info on the chat.
If you know nothing about Twitter chats, don't worry, we're all learning together. Here are a few things to know:
1. In order to participate simply get on Twitter during the one-hour chat time and use the hashtag #JustMissions. If you are using Twitter on your mobile phone, search the hashtag. Once you are in the search section, you will see the feed continuously change as others add their answers to the questions we post, or simply continue conversations within the feed. Whenever you reply or retweet, be sure to add the hashtag #JustMissions to it. This is hard to remember at first, but you'll get the swing of it after a while. From there, you can also click the Compose Tweet and it will automatically include the hashtag for you. Post your answer and/or retweet the answers you connect with, and reply to some as well. The whole point is to get some conversations flowing about missions.
2. If dealing with this on your telephone is a bit stressful, you can do this from your desktop. A great and free tool to use is Tweet Deck. Here you can create columns, like your notifications, the hashtag, and any specific person/org you want to follow throughout the Twitter Chat. Go to www.tweetdeck.twitter.com and give Tweet Deck permission to open in your Twitter account. The swim lanes make the constant movement of a Twitter Chat a lot easier to handle. There's also tchat.io where you can pause the chat and hide retweets to help simplify your experience. http://www.tchat.io/rooms/justmissions
3. Be respectful in your retweets and replies. Again it's all about a conversation here. We ask that you be respectful, never shame people for having different opinions than you do, but engage if you want to understand why they've said what they've said. If you don't actually want to understand their difference of opinion, don't engage. Keep in mind that we will have people from various faith backgrounds and from various geographic locations, some long-term missionaries, some pastors, some teens, some non-Westerners etc. The diversity means that we will have disagreements; but the diversity also means we can each learn something from someone else. No one person is the expert. We are all learners.
4. Some Twitter chats have videos that go along with them, some don't. The #JustMissions chat will. We will post a discussion video before each chat. At this point, we are not sure of exact details, but we will update as we figure this out. If you are able to watch the video before the chat, you'll be better prepared for the questions, but it's not a prerequisite to participation. You can always go back and watch it later if you enjoyed the conversation.
5. Questions for each chat will be posted before the chat begins. There will be 5-6 questions, and we'll let the Twitter conversations go for about ten minutes on each question. They will likely be posted here and/or on the Engaging Missions website. If anything changes, we will update this blogpost.
6. After each chat we will compose a recap blog post, and post that to social media. Each time we will give away one copy of Slow Kingdom Coming and one copy of A Smoldering Wick to engaged participants. If you know of anyone who is interested in missions and would want to join in, invite them to be a part. If you have any questions catch any of us on Twitter @engagingMission @KentAnnan @genaLthomas or at our websites. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on missions June 1 and beyond ...