By Darryl Alder
Jul 12, 2015

What? Me Teach? Right Now!


Missionary minded Bishop Spencer J. McKeown, Harrogate Ward, North Yorkshire, UK announced his call in the Harrogate Informer with this photo

To read about the adventure of getting to the UK check out Part 1, Lone Cub Scouting in Part 2 and 4th of July on the Beach in Part 3

At the Harrogate UK LDS Ward, last Sunday I had just left Sunday School when Bishop Mckeown asked me to teach our Social Media Certification to the Ward missionary committee during Priesthood, which started in five minutes.

“What? Me Teach, Now?” I asked myself, smiled and said, “Yes.” After all I had brought it on myself and being prepared was the clear theme of this vacation. Besides, a month ago I taught this course to Troop 411, sponsored by Hilltop Methodist Church in Sandy, Utah, so I was ready.

During the five minutes I had, I searched for our blog post on Social Media and was surprised to find this: “New Boy Scout Social Media Certification Also Helpful for Families” from the LDS Church News. I was all over it for the minutes I had to prep—this made my training applicable for this audience.

The request to have me teach had come from a conversation I’d had with the Bishop the week before. The ward had sponsored a Summer Fayre (fair) and Barbeque. Bishop McKeown’s daughter and our Hayley are pretty good friends. With that common ground, we began chatting. He commented that members could have done more to promote the event.

social media patch

Begin earning your social media certification patch by clicking the image above

I naturally suggested social media as a means of getting the word out and I told him a bit about our Council’s  #SocialMediaCertification, Then I asked if I could teach it at mutual one of the next two weeks. He said he would think about it. I felt pretty good about the subject, but now faced with the task, was not so sure about how it might work with adults.

I began by talking about the revolution the Gutenberg press had created in the 1400’s. It was a transformational event that allowed many common men to share their views and ideas. George Washington put it this way: “Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring truth to light.” I did not use this particular quote in my lesson; it seemed timely for the 4th of July weekend, but not to Brits. I pointed out that today’s press shapes the world’s thinking about many subjects, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I went on to explain a free press is a powerful weapon. To use the weapon well you need training, which we offer through Social Media Certification. With the help of an experienced Social Media Coach, this excellent, self-paced course would assist them in learning how to get up and running so they can:

  • Be safer while using social media.
  • Bring purpose to their use of social media.
  • Better understand how to get involved in the discussions happening in social media.
  • Get involved in sharing their personal stories and thoughts on what is important to them.
  • and Flood the earth with good messages.

I  reminded them of Elder Bednar’s challenge to sweep the Earth as with a flood of truth and righteousness. I explained that certification will help them and their youth be safe, responsible and productive on the internet. 

Then we brainstormed a list of platforms to use as ammunition with our Social Media weapon. From their list, these included Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snap-Chat, YouTube and, From that we moved on to the call to action for the lesson, to pick two platforms and use them to promote the ward’s upcoming Music Night and Faith in God hike, both of which the Bishop had hoped would become missionary opportunities.

I hope you will consider this your invitation to get certified or to allow one of our Social Media Coaches to speak with your youth group or other adults in your organization. You can reach us at Social Media Certification Coach.

Read the conclusion to our vacation in the UK with a Plan “B” Campfire


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