Friday, December 04, 2009

Digimission...a rambling response

I’ve been trying to find a few minutes to scribble down a few thoughts on the excellent Digimission day put together by the Krish Kandiah and his team at the EA to explore how we Jesus followers navigate the digital age , but it’s been mad busy since.

Right off the bat it’s important to say how good it was to have even seen such an event in the taking place at the moment in the UK. I think it’s fair to say that in terms of how the Church is engaging with this new digital age we’re a little behind where people are at in the US.

Having said that, there was enough of a good cross section of folks present at the London event to encourage me that there are people who are really getting to grips with what it means for us individually – as bloggers, Facebook and Twitter users –corporately as Churches, organisations, tribes of all sorts…as we wrestle with how we do Church today.

The mix of speakers was pretty good, each bringing a slightly different perspective to the table.

Jonny Baker was first up and for me seemed to be the most comfortable and familiar with this new “low control” Web 2.0 environment. A long time, influential & well known blogger in the area of missional Church and Alternative Worship, Jonny inhabits this world with a sense of ease that means that his experience seemed to be more integrated into the whole of life, rather than absorption with the technology for its own sake.

So, there wasn’t much of a feeling of “this is the tech, and here’s what to do with it”, but rather a more expansive and ultimately more helpful exploration of interconnectedness, mission, social media and relationship in the West in the 21st Century that drew in “Small World Theory”, networks and the writing of Clay Shirky.

Top stuff from Jonny!

Maggi Dawn’s approach seemed to be to start from a different but no less inspiring place…from that of a writer, and the “Vicar” of her blog.Clearly the relational – even Pastoral - aspects of blogging are high in Maggi’s priorities, and I liked fact she described blogging as a relational form of writing, a real point of resonance for someone like me who values so highly the level interaction and engagement that is possible now.

We heard too from Adrian Warnock via a pre-recorded video, which of course meant something of a one way dialog, which perhaps was slightly at odds with the “connected” thread I was taking from Jonny and Maggi. Interesting footnote for me that Adrian had intentionally switched off his comments on his own blog. I guess I’ll have to do some detective work to see if I can figure out the back story there, as I’m less familiar with Adrian’s web presence than I am with that of Maggi & Jonny.

Third up in the flesh speaker was Mark Meynell from All Souls Langham place. Mark’s approach seemed to me to be rooted in his missional heart. There seemed to be an intentionality about Mark’s approach that was interesting.

Ahead of the event, and one of the deciding factor in getting me to attend at all was knowing that Shane Hipps would be featured – albeit via a live online hook up from Phoenix AZ – where it would have been a great deal warmer than the freezing venue.

Shane’s Flickering Pixels has been on my book list for a while now, so it was good to hear what he had to say. I’m looking forward to checking out the freebie book that came my way for being an early bird booker to Digimission.

Krish himself wrapped up the day. He’s no techno-slouch, so I would hazard a guess that we will continue to see more days like this in the future. Bring it on.

The bottom line for me is this is the world we’re living in. We have to engage with it, and understand it. We need to speak the language.

Fabulous to hook up with Richard Hall and the guys from Kore (a website well worth the look)

Thanks to all for a great day!

• More lucid and sensible reviews than mine from Everything Christian, Church Mouse, Richard Hall and Andy Moore• Watch Digimission here:


Jonathan Blundell said...

Thanks for the recap.

It's interested that you pointed out, "and I liked fact she described blogging as a relational form of writing, a real point of resonance for someone like me who values so highly the level interaction and engagement that is possible now."

I think I struggle with that somewhat on my blog. I still haven't found that good balance between being relational and simply sharing news events and other things that cross between my two ears.

I hear people who say they want to read more about me - and yet they seldom comment or engage with the blog. They opt for e-mail or a phone call usually.

And most of the things those folks could care less about - are the things that bring the rest of my audience to the blog.

So I've found it to be a weird balancing act that I haven't yet been too successful at.

I guess you have to end up with 3-4 blogs, specialize or try and find a mix in between.

Can't make everyone happy I spose ;-)

Johnny said...


I am thinking about stretching out my blogging a little too.

...just got a few ideas fizzing around in my head at the moment, and they will come out in due course. Not this side of Christmas, though.

I'll keep you posted when the ideas are a little firmer.


Jonathan Blundell said...

Maybe a(nother) community blog might be in order. :-)

krishk said...

Hi Johnny
thanks for the write up of digimission glad you liked it. there are podcasts and more linked to the event at