innovation: rss

there are two questions in this series of posts that i'll tackle:
1.) what is __________________? (i.e. what is rss, a blog, etc)
2.) what value is it to me in ministry?

the second question is perhaps the most important!
because i tend to be an early adopter (although my finances don't always allow me to), i have to find the proper balance between technology/innovation (really, two different things, but here i'll treat as one) and effectiveness - it's really an issue of stewardship!

you have to ask yourself the following:
  • "does this help or hinder?"
  • "does this clarify or cloud?"
  • "does this simplify or complicate?"
so, the two questions today are:
1.) what is rss?
2.) what value is it to me in ministry?

1.) rss stands for Realy Simple Syndication. recall with me that syndication is when a writer is published across various platforms (i.e. newspapers, magazines, etc) - so, rss is the syndication of bloggers (writers) across various platforms (aggregators or blog readers). here's where it gets easy, but you have to stay with me...the next tool you want to use is an aggregator or blog reader - it does the work for you - you simply subscribe to a blog (look for the "subscribe" button or "rss" button) and when the writer publishes something new, it comes to you. i personally use bloglines. another excellent blog reader is google reader - both are great, i've just used bloglines longer since it's been around longer. so, although i may follow 50+ bloggers, i don't 'go' to their sites, their sites 'come' to me - anytime todd, perry, or michael publishes something new, i know about it
2.) what value is it to me in ministry? as i see it there are at least 3 values for someone in ministry to understand what rss is (and begin to use a blog reader).
  • a.) cross-pollination: that is, reading across various information sources and interests. i read blogs about: leadership, church planting, media, culture, presentation, family, sports and technology. this gives me the ability to keep a pulse on important things to me and to what God has called me to!
  • b.) skill sharpening: as i quoted in my workshop, Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, "if the ax is dull, and it's blade unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." so as a leader in the Body of Christ, i must sharpen my skills! by reading blogs from people that are 'further down the road' than i, i'm able to sharpen my skills and learn from them. it's also helped me make decisions and consider alternatives
  • c.) God speaks: that's right, there are times when God speaks to me through the bloggers that i read. sometimes it's in an area of ministry or it may just be on a personal level, regardless, i totally believe the internet was created for God's kingdom and for God's people - He can use it!
begin to understand and utilize rss as much as possible...if you'll notice, more and more sites are using rss as a means of delivering content to you instead of you having to go to it.

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