Sunday, April 3, 2011

Facing the Reality of the Facebook.

I’ve talked to a number of pastors and other Christians who have taken a stand.  They say, “that’s why I don’t facebook.”  And those who do facebook, seem to struggle with just what it should be.  They find themselves frustrated by a social media that is so popular (and even essential) yet doesn’t work for them or their church in terms of evangelism.  What a shame that our church is unable to share such an important story as Christ when companies are able to use facebook and twitter to so effectively to market cheetos and radio talk shows.

What is wrong with us?  Well the problem is not in the social media.  I mean, social media has its problems, but it has the potential to be a highly effective tool and it has the potential to be used for the greater good of growing people in faith.  So it seems that ignoring it is to turn our backs on a new frontier of evangelism.  Now, having said that, I don’t blame any pastor for turning their back...up until now.  This new frontier is scary and confusing.

The problem is that as churches we have become confused over which story it is we are sharing.  Too often we use social media to share the story of the institution.  Worse yet, it isn’t even really the “story” we share but information (and begging).  The primary story that we are to share is a story of faith, that is, the story of Christ told through our: lives, faith, circumstances and our reactions to those circumstances.

My suggestion to Christians, and especially pastors, is to share your life authentically using Facebook as a spiritual practice.  It isn’t until you have built relationships with your facebook friends that you should ever consider announcing an event or making invitations, because that story is secondary to the story of Christ as told through your life!