Communicating faith in the 21st Century — It's all about relationships!

By Deb Christian*

Caitlin Cogdon (photo by George Conklin)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 4, 2014) — Caitlin Cogdon led participants through an engaging discussion that explained communicating faith in our present technology-rich time is a combination of the inner dynamic we name "faith" and the fascinating and abundant technical tools available to us.

The communications landscape – how it is done – is changing, but the human need for the connection remains constant.

Some important points from the workshop:

  • Focus on connecting with people and the tools will all make sense.
  • Rise above the "noise" – you may need to reach beyond your present community.
  • Have a strategy. Decide who you should reach, why you are reaching that audience, and which tools to use, but don't eliminate any medium (tool) because you might eliminate part of your audience.
  • Decisions about how to connect should be "both and" rather than "either or."
  • Today's communication practice is in a new reality.

Social media use figured large in this discussion. Noting especially the ability to develop relationships / connection through smart phones, tablets, laptops via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, Ms. Cogdon advised the group to know what devices your audience uses most. "Ask how social media can help you share your stories of faith, messages of hope and reflections on your faith journey," she stated.

Final takeaways from this session included:

  • Do something
  • Be authentic
  • Tell your story

"Share a few great things rather than just put up a volume of information. It's all about relationships!"

Caitlin Cogdon is Manager of Communication Training and Development for United Methodist Communications and has an extensive background developing online and face-to-face training programs.

Deb Christian is a retired member of RCC. She served as the President of the RCC during 2010-2012 .

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