Social Media and the Church

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching <sup class="crossreference" value="(BE)”>and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread <sup class="crossreference" value="(BF)”>and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common…..Acts 2:42-44

And each day they were actively involved in Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and joyfully embraced each new Social Media that came along and integrated it into the Church, and each day more believers were added to their number…….

An interesting question… would social media have affected the early church? I wonder how the use of social media has shaped the modern church today. I didn’t think about it much until I got swept up in the frenzy of it myself. I blame my IPhone. I heart my IPhone! I panic when I lose sight of it. It has almost become a part of me, after all, all my stuff is in there. Personal stuff.

I have now started doing a Facebook check in at church. Then I ask myself, am I doing this to be prideful? While others are out Facebooking at Starbucks or the golf course, do I feel secretly superior for “checking in” at church? It takes a little bit of self-evaluation. On the other hand, I see others check-ins at church and it makes me happy they are there. So maybe they are happy seeing mine as well.

My Mom has the personal opinion that the computer, (and the IPhone) are the Antichrist. She often says that if the computers shut down the whole world would stop. She might be right. I think when we become so dependent on anything that we couldn’t imagine life without it, it’s a problem.

As with everything we do, discretion and moderation is key.

I personally think the church can use technology to its advantage. The question I have to ask myself is, can  I be just as comfortable in the little brown church in the wildwood, as in a modern day church with the big screen and flashing lights and the YouTube videos? Do I need all that?

I think as long as the intent is to bring people closer to Jesus and to each other, it can be a good thing. And if I did go to the little brown church in the wildwood? I have to confess, I would most likely be tempted to whip out my IPhone, take a picture, do a check in and then check to see if they had a website I could “Like”

This morning, I just found out there is a Jesus Facebook page. It has 12,993,870 likes. I had no idea such a thing existed.

What’s your take on all this?

5 thoughts on “Social Media and the Church

  1. I think social media is a tool to be used (just like, say, money). It can be used well or poorly, for good or for bad, with pure or cloudy motives … it all depends on the person using it.

    On the one hand, I think it's awesome that churches are able to use modern day technologies to reach a modern world. People live their lives online these days, and if Jesus is such a huge part of our lives, it only makes sense that it should be reflected in our online presence.

    Of course, on the other hand, there is always the argument that we should be content with any church that preaches Jesus, even if all they have is an old piano and a hymnal. But I think the argument is framed poorly. I think the concept of being as comfortable in a little-old-church as in a “modern” service is more a matter of culture than conviction.

    Because here's the thing – we've been culturally conditioned to expect certain things. Very few of us would be glad to spend the next 5 years living in an old log cabin in the woods. We'd survive, of course, but we'd probably miss the internet, the grocery store, the cable TV – the things that we've become accustomed to having in the “modern” world. That's why so many people are draw to more “modern” churches – not because they need someone to jazz up Jesus for them, but because those places fit better into the culture in which the people thrive. It's the equivalent to being a Jew to a Jew and a Greek to a Greek – we are meeting people where they're at with the message of Jesus. I don't see how that could be a bad thing

  2. Hi Lori,

    Technology, like anything else, can be a very good thing if it's not abused or, as you so aptly stated, if we become so dependent on it that we can't imagine life without it. We should only be THAT dependent on Jesus Christ.

    I'm pretty much a low tech kind of a person — I have a phone that my 16 yr. old daughter describes as archaic/outdated. No texting or Internet access. Friends have let me hold their iPhones and I've promptly handed them back, like a young father with a newborn child…I've NO idea what to do with it and I'm afraid I'll break it. It took me over two days to figure out this whole blogging thing, trying to create my own blog, I nearly lost my mind. But that's just me.

    We have all the latest high tech equipment at our church — the ProPresenter presentation software,the huge video screen, the ginormous speakers, the slick YouTube videos, etc. There are many times when I would LOVE to actually flee to the little brown church in the wildwood. All the sound and lights and people whipping out their iPads/iPhones/iTouches to call up their Bible apps and whatnot just distract me terribly(adult ADHD?) and too often, I feel more like I'm at a concert or a conference instead of in a church. Sometimes, I think that simpler, humbler is better.

    This was a great blog post, Lori!


  3. Lori~
    I can see valid points in both comments above…I grew up in a little brown church-very humble and sweet it was. I share Pam's frustration with technology, and I hate the huge draw being on the computer has on my life. But on the other hand, there have been many times I have been so deeply moved by a blog post that I have cried-it changed my life. It was a thing I desperately needed, and that's how it was delivered-on a computer screen.
    The thing is~ a healthy balance….

    P.S. Most of those touching blog posts have been right here….

  4. Oh, wow what great comments and conversation there is here. I love it! I agree with what everyone said, it is a tool we can use for good……and just think, there was a time, not even so long ago, when you couldn't even imagine how the whole world could hear or see something at once, and now with TV, computers, satellite, its possible! I too have been deeply touched by so many wonderful blogs, such as all of yours! Lori

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