Rhett Smith is one of those guys that after you visit his blog your brain starts asking funky questions like “What’s up with this guy who enjoys psychology, theology, counseling, and social media… at the same time?”
And then, after reading some of his stuff, you realize that he is truly as he self-describes himself.
I wanted to get to know the guy better, so instead of throwing him a typical Friday 5, I shot him over a few extra. He didn’t disappoint.
You’ll want to put this guy on the gooreader, he’s got some serious blogging topics which a healthy range so you don’t get entirely bored (which is all to easy these days, even here at ChurchCrunch…!).
So, take a read and sit awhile with Rhett Smith.
Time Bandits or Favorite Websites?
Whatcha Working On?
Ahhh. The million dollar question.
We just moved to Dallas in August from Los Angeles, so we are still in transition I think. My time is sort of spread thin in possibly too many places, but here is what currently gets most of my attention.
There are my vocations as an MFT Therapist (http://www.pcec-counseling.org) and as Pastoral Care Mentor/Trainer (http://www.hppc.org). But what I’m “working on” is a book proposal about the integration of theology, ministry and social media, and I’m working really hard on gathering a “tribe” of people who are interested in how social media can be used effectively in the world of therapy.
How do you see Web Technology impacting The Kingdom?
I could give you a long list of answers to this question, but here is the gist in my opinion.
1) Web technology is impacting the Kingdom in that it opens up the door for more participation in the body of Christ. No longer are pastors, elders, executive staffs the gatekeepers to how, when, where and why things get done in a church. Web technology collapses the hierarchy and opens up participatory elements in the Church.
2) Web technology is impacting the Kingdom in that it’s participatory elements allow for more collaborative thinking among Christians. Instead of one great idea or discussion, we now have many great ideas and discussions, and the collaborative nature of technology really allows for the best ideas, discussions, thoughts, etc. to come forward and hopefully be implemented when and where necessary.
3) Web technology is impacting the Kingdom in that online presence is now the front door to the Church. Where do people first look up information for a church? The web. This is a great advantage, that if utilized, can really impact the Kingdom. It gets us to think of the Kingdom beyond the front doors and actual physical buildings of the Church.
We have a great opportunity to reach those who would never step foot in a church, as well as impacting the Kingdom all week long, rather just on Sunday morning.
So what is “Rhett Smith” about?
I’m still figuring that out. But my passion really lies within the intersection of ministry, counseling and social media. I often lay awake at night thinking about these things. And on a sidenote, I was a college pastor for 7 years in Los Angeles (http://www.thequestbelair.org), so I’m still very passionate about college students and young adults.
What makes you passionate about blogging?
I love writing, sharing ideas, being in conversation with others. So blogging has allowed me to do those things. I started blogging in the Fall of 2004 and have posted about 1,006 entries….so I don’t think I would have made it this far if I wasn’t really passionate about writing, sharing ideas and conversation. And I like belonging…belonging to the community of bloggers and commenters. It’s a unique and special community I think.
You’ve got a very colorful background, what’s up with that?
I think it’s just part of the journey. Figuring out more and more who you are and what you are passionate about as you experience new things. What I succeeded and failed at were great guides for the journey.
I love theology and ministry, but I soon realized that my M.Div. only got me so far. It didn’t prepare me for how to work with a college student who is struggling with depression, abuse, drugs or sexual addiction.
So that’s when I decided to go back for my MFT degree so that I could use the two to be a better pastor and church leader. The social media thing…I just fell into that. Don’t know how. I guess there weren’t many college pastors blogging about social media a couple of years ago and so others kept coming to me with questions.
How was it like contributing some of your thoughts to the book (The New Media Frontier)?
That was a total gift that I’m very grateful to have been a part of. It was a new experience for me writing with deadlines and editors…which is so different than posting a blog obviously. But I enjoyed thinking through how to use Facebook and MySpace more effectively in youth ministry. And I’m hoping I can contribute more in the area of social media/technology and ministry.
Where are you headed next?
If I could plan my future, my goal is to open up a private practice in the next year or so. When I do that, I’m hoping to balance time between counseling, working with churches on social media and pastoral care issues, and spending my other time doing some writing and speaking. That’s my dream. But we will see what God has in store.