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Check Your Email

Last week I sent out an email to my key leaders working with Elementary kids at the church. It was sent to about 20 people, but I’m realizing that there might be something wrong with email communication. I have learned that using email as my sole form of communication just doesn’t work, so I try and use email when I need to supplement what I’ve already passed along via telephone or in person with someone. In this particular event reminder email I put a note at the very bottom that stated that the first 3 people to reply to the email would receive a $5 Smoothie King gift card. It’s been 7 days, and I only got one reply. What’s wrong with this picture? It could be my email, however I really don’t think the email itself was terrible. It wasn’t that long, and was passed along simply as a courtesy to give my team members a heads-up about upcoming events. But I think I might know what the problem is. It’s me!

I live an electronic life. I prefer twitter messages, email, or a text message to talking on my phone at length. (Especially if it’s something not that important.) But not everyone feels the same way I do. I have great friends from college that take 2 weeks to reply to an email, if they ever do reply. I have friends from previous churches that have no idea what a ‘blog’ is. There are those on staff with me currently that haven’t mastered sending a text message from their church provided Palm Treo. I’ve always thought it was an age thing, but I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s not so much age.

One of the most frustrating things to me about technology, is the reluctance of others to keep pace. If I use twitter, text messages, and blogs to communicate things; but no one that I know personally uses them then I feel like I’m not getting the same value out of the existing technology. I’d love to have my entire team use twitter on a Sunday Morning to communicate happenings to each other all around campus. I think many meetings could be avoided with a properly sent informational email. I believe that ‘keeping up’ with friends could be accomplished more easily if some friends would return emails, start reading and commenting on blogs, or heaven forbid start their own!

This has turned into a rant. Sorry about that. Using this ‘Internet’ thing I have gained some new friends that I would have never known before. I’ve got friends all over the United States, and even some overseas; and all because of this silly little blog. It’s nice to know that my car could break down just about anywhere, and I could possibly find someone willing to help me out. I think…

Now playing: JJ Heller – Small
via FoxyTunes

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. kelly · May 13, 2008

    Stop picking on my husband for not returning emails!! Just kidding. I am working on him, but I think it will be a lifelong process.

    As far as technology goes, you are one of the most techno-advanced people I know. For example, I have no idea what twitter is. Also, I thought you had turned off comments on your blog because I couldn’t find the comment button, until you asked people to comment today so I figured I would look for it. I guess I am not much better than my husband, huh? Anyway, be patient with us. :)

  2. Queen Cash · May 13, 2008

    I’m with you, buddy. It annoys the crud out of me when someone insists that I correspond with them by telephone! I mean, come ON! It’s almost a deal-breaker for me. :-)

  3. Kenny · May 18, 2008

    You are right on. I know I’m going to butcher this… but I don’t have the book on me. I think Ed Young wrote the forward to the book “The Blogging Church.” He said something about how we’ve missed it when we let technology get in the way of ministry. I agree that email is a very effective tool for ministry, but it easily (VERY EASILY) gets in the way. It can be a crutch.

    I’ve had a rant/blog post building in me for months about this very topic… but I’m not quite done stewing on it yet.

    Great post!