What we once thought was just for us, now is for everyone. Thirteen year olds all the way to grandparents are now on and using Facebook. Facebook has become more than just a place for friends to meet, it has become a place for all kinds of social connections. People can talk to their favorite companies, and companies can respond back to their customers. The one way street is now a mult-lane interchange. Facebook has grown by leaps and bounds because it fulfills two basic needs of humans: to belong and to connect. So, should the church embrace this change or stay away from it completely? Can it be helpful or serve any purpose for our churches?
Facebook has become a part of everyday life. Many people get on Facebook more than three times a day. According to the website’s online press room, “People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.” Can you believe that? 700 billion minutes per month! Currently there are 792,306,980 people on Facebook. That means that on average every person on Facebook uses Facebook for 883 minutes per month. That is a total of almost 15 hours a month. So my question is, with something so big, with a reach to so many people, how can the church not afford to utilize it?
“The Lookout” recently had an article about churches using Facebook. They suggest that churches need to have a few principles before they start using Facebook. First, a church needs to figure out why they are using Facebook in the first place. Secondly, a church needs to realize that even if you are on Facebook you should remember the golden rule. And ultimately you must remember that “Facebook connections may help cultivate friendships and community, but they are no substitute for live interaction with living, breathing people.”
Finally, I would like to leave you with a list of questions to consider about your use of Facebook:
- What is the main goal for my Facebook interactions?
- How many of my Facebook friends are Christians?
- Will I find ways to share my faith offline with my unbelieving Facebook friends?
- What role will Scripture and prayer play in my profile and interactions?
- What will I do when one of my friends is struggling with a faith-related issue?
- What will I do when one of my friends posts a viewpoint that goes against Scripture?
- How will I express my personal joys and struggles to my Facebook friends?
I hope this helps you determine or reevaluate how you use Facebook.