Dear Friends & Supporters of Missio Alliance…
Following our inaugural national gathering, we are embarking on the next phase of how Missio Alliance can encourage and equip evangelical churches, networks, and institutions for mission in North America and beyond. Based on conversations with and feedback from hundreds of church leaders across traditions and contexts, a significant aspect of this work will involve developing a robust online presence.
But to do this we need your help.
We are cultivating a “Missio Alliance Communication Team” – a community of leaders who will partner with us to function as the social networking ears and mouthpiece of the larger Missio Alliance body. This team of leaders would help us get the word out about on-going conversations and resources. At the same time, we want to hear back from this team of people about the needs, opportunities, and challenges that should inform the work of Missio Alliance.
We need a social networking team like this because we’re living in a time where:
- More than one billion people log into Facebook a month (600 million engaging daily).
- There are nearly 20 million Americans using Twitter, following organizations to stay connected.
- Google+ is now the fastest growing social media site in the world with nearly 350 million monthly users.
- The average YouTube user spends over five hours a month on the website watching videos.
This is why we need your help. Leveraging the power and influence of a substantial online presence for communicating and networking is central to a more comprehensive strategy of working together to help see the North American Church more fully and faithfully equipped for mission.
“What will this entail?” you ask…
- We will email you twice a week about recent Missio Alliance activity, asking you to broadcast it through your different online streams (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.). This is meant to help expose people to the collaborative work of Missio Alliance along the lines of relational networks.
- We will create intentional and strategic opportunities to hear from you about issues we should consider, discussions we should pay attention to, and other news and resources that we may want to post on the Missio Alliance site and social media streams. This is a primary means of keeping our work tethered to the “on-the-ground” issues and realities facing Christian leaders.
Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
2. Seek to make your own voice heard.
We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
3. Share your story.
One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
In view of those suggestions for shaping conversation on our site and in an effort to curate a hospitable space of open conversation, Missio Alliance may delete comments and/or ban users who show no regard for constructive engagement, especially those whose comments are easily construed as trolling, threatening, or abusive.