Tag Archives: facebook

Social Media, New Wineskins and Church Unity

Tuesday Re-mix –

Social media is here to stay. You may have sworn against Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, and SMS (much the way you may have sworn against e-mail back in the day), but you may as well get used to them and do your best to embrace them…because social media is the communications vehicle of choice for at least the three youngest generations in the church today and is making pretty significant in-roads into the older generations as well. It is one of those “new wineskins” Jesus talked about which are necessary to communicate the gospel in our ever-changing world. As churches, we have moved way beyond asking whether or not we should engage this language. Clearly, we must. The only remaining question is: what impact will it have on our relationships, i.e., church unity?

I first started discussing this question here and here in previous posts. Now that I am a little further along in my own experiment with social media, I want to further explore the question about its impact on church unity. So, here are a few more observations:

1. A flood of testimonies of what God is doing. One of the things that builds unity the quickest in a body of believers is sharing testimony of what God is doing in our lives. Social media gives churches the opportunity for anyone to share that testimony through the written word, through video, through audio and then put that testimony out there for anyone to see/read/hear. It has never been easier to find out in a couple of minutes what is going on in someone’s life–someone with whom you may not have a close relationship, but from whose testimony you can still benefit.

2. Prayer concerns (and other needs) made easy and accessible. Yes, if you are able …

Church Unity for a Social Media Generation

Tuesday Re-mix –

If you’re reading a blog (and you are, by the way), then you probably already understand that this youngest adult generation in the church, the “social media generation”, is learning to do relationships a little differently than relationships have ever been done before (and I should add here that social media has now made huge inroads into all the generations and no longer “belongs” just to the 18-35 crowd–the “social media generation”, therefore is not an age-label, but rather an era label for our time).  Between TwitterFacebookMy SpaceLinked In, and a host of other social networking worlds, this generation is more connected with one another than any generation before it.  Reportedly, more than 95% of American college students today are actively connected in one or more of these social networks.  Their culture has them receiving massive amounts of information about one another all day and night through steady streams of photos, videos, and text.  Never before has an entire generation been more “connected” with one another. Tony Steward of church.tv observes, for example, that the concept of a class reunion will be completely foreign to this generation, who will have stayed “connected” with each other throughout the years following their graduation so that a “reunion” will seem superfluous.

social-networkingAn older generation of Christians has stood back and observed all of this “interconnectedness” with varying responses.  While some of us have worked to embrace it and participate, others are more wary, calling into question the long-term ramifications.  The concerns range from “what does this do to intimacy in relationships?” to “what does this fast-paced, fire-hydrant delivery of information do to the brain?”  For purposes of my point here, I will not engage that debate.  But I will say it is more …