Editor's note: This is an updated version of a Florida Conference Connection news story.
LAKELAND – Bishop Ken Carter will moderate the first "tweet meet" for the Florida Conference from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. today.
Laity and clergy members of the conference are invited to engage in online conversation about their journey or their church's progress toward becoming disciples of Christ. Participants will need to have a Twitter account. They can sign up for one for free by going to www.twitter.com. The hashtag for the meeting will be #FLUMC2013.
"The goal is to have a meeting via social media that helps us to learn more about how we are becoming disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and to hear from people who may enjoy communicating their experience in this unique way," the bishop said.
Participants are encouraged to discuss their personal path to discipleship, as well as how nurturing disciples of Christ is playing out in their local church. They may also suggest activities they would like to see to enhance that experience.
Here are some questions and guidelines suggested by the bishop:
1. Guiding rules: Do no harm. Do all the good you can. Be honest. Any question is OK. We are learning.
2. Introduce yourself. Be creative.
3. What is your relationship to The United Methodist Church or the Florida Conference?
4. When you think of the word "disciple," what words come to your mind? Is there a better word?
5. How has someone helped you to know or follow Jesus?
6. What resource helps you stay closer to Jesus: book, movie, music, experience, place?
7. How do you see people around you coming to know Jesus or learning more to follow Jesus?
8. What do people in Florida most need from disciples of Jesus?
9. What does the church do that gets in the way of people becoming disciples of Jesus?
10. How could the Florida Conference help local churches make disciples of Jesus?
11. How can people share their faith in creative ways?
12. What is the greatest shift that happens in discipleship in the transition from youth to adulthood?
13. Any thoughts about mentoring, reverse mentoring and discipleship?
14. What is the most important thing a bishop of The United Methodist Church can do?
15. Is there any question you want to ask?
16. Is there any comment you want to share?
Bishop Carter's Tweet Meet will help set the stage for this year's Annual Conference, where the theme will be "Becoming Disciples of Jesus Christ." During the conference, scheduled for June 13-15 at the Lakeland Center, 710 W. Lime St., there will be opportunities to hear personal stories and participate in small group sessions focused on discipleship.
For those new to Twitter, click here. Information includes how to use hashtags and keeping entries to 140 characters. Those who just want to follow the conversation can do so at the Florida Conference Twitter page, https://twitter.com/flumc.
- Susan Green is the editor of the Florida Conference Connection, and Dave Walter is the digital media coordinator.