Reaching The Online Generation

An Initiative of CityTeam Ministries

What Squidoo Lenses Have to Do with Church

Posted on | August 6, 2008 |

The church has a hard time contributing meaningfully to conversations online.  Most church websites scream, “ME, ME, ME!”  or “WE, WE, WE!” without considering the millions of people who don’t have a reason to care the church thinks.  Consequently, most people tune the church out.

I believe the church can get back into meaningful conversation and I believe the internet can help them take the baby steps without spending a lot of money.  I think Squidoo is a good place to begin.

What is Squidoo?

Seth Godin is the creator of Squidoo. People go to Squidoo and make lenses that focus on their heart’s desire. Here is a description of a Squidoo Lens from the Squidoo website:

Wait, so what’s a lens? A lens is…

  • An insanely easy-to-build, single page online.
  • Your signpost about something that matters to you.
  • A place to recommend your favorite stuff.
  • A popular way to get found more on the web.
  • A free (yes, free) way to earn a royalty. For you or for charity.
  • Word of mouth at your fingertips.
  • Squiddylicious.
  • Something you should have if you care about getting the word out, about selling something, about changing minds, about sharing info, or if you just love to create, express yourself, and play.

I love the ’signpost’ description.  Squidoo is a way to point people to various resources about a topic, comment on those resources, and add ideas of your own.  Squidoo is a great way to meaningfully contribute to the global conversation about a topic that interests you.

How Can The Church Use Squidoo?

Church members should make Squidoo lenses about their passions.  If you are passionate about family, make a lens that points to a million different resources for families.   If you want to help people with eating disorders, make a lens on the subject.  If you like to build model airplanes, create a lens.  Make a lens about anything that you feel that you can talk about for hours.

Here is an important point to remember:  Do not make every resource a religious resource.  I’m going to address talking about your faith in a little bit.  Please remember that people come to your lens because they are interested in the topic, not because they want you to preach at them.  Squidoo is not a place to preach, it is a place to talk.  Preaching is one-way, conversation is two way.

If there is a spiritual component to your lens topic, address it.  Address it in a separate section that addresses the spiritual aspects of your topic.  This way you can talk with people who care about spiritual things, rather than bombarding someone with theology when they just wanted a new recipe for chicken.  Use this section to talk about how flying model airplanes makes you feel close to God.  There is a place for spiritual conversations.  Just don’t have them with people who don’t care.

When you demonstrate that you have valuable input into the global online conversation, people take notice.  When you are open to spiritual discussions but do not ambush people or bombard them, you earn their respect.  If you do this long enough, you earn the right to be heard.

I’m going to work on some lenses to meet some needs I’ve identified as I work with the online generation.  I need help.  If you want to help, email me.  My address is pwatson at cityteam dot org.

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  • About

    Who is God?' was one of the top three sentences googled in 2007, according to Google Zeitgeist. According to Alexa, the top two religious websites are Muslim, with BibleGateway coming in at a close third. The Online Generation is spiritual. They are seeking. And the church is the last place they would go to find spiritual fulfillment. This site is dedicated to those walking with The Online Generation and living lives of obedience to all the commands of Jesus Christ.
  • Partners to Reach the Online Generation

    CityTeam Ministries