• aqua

    Filling every space we can with God is a valid statement, but I think it also takes discernment and discretion. It’s kind of like you wouldn’t just go and crash a Satanist party and start preaching Bible verses – unless you felt called by God, then that makes sense – but I think of how Jesus says that we shouldn’t cast pearls to swine. Anyway, social media is a tool that can be used to give God glory, but that’s all it is… “a tool.” The problem is when this tool, like any other tool, is abused by us in a way it was not intended. For example, people who start out with good intentions but then get highly addicted and obsessed wasting all their time on it. Also, for me personally, it’s a privacy issue too with not wanting to display my whole life story on a pedestal to the world and knowing that big corporations are documenting and storing my info into their systems. For celebrities and people who are confident to reveal themselves I understand this is not the issue. Others tell me that they feel that the internet is impersonal and there is no “human” touch or engagement through a computer screen and as a society we are becoming more and more isolated because of the technology around us. All are valid reasons. Anyway, I think it’s great if we can reach others to Christ through facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc. But my point is, I think that just because we don’t engage intensely in these online platforms doesn’t necessarily mean that God can’t reveal himself to others in the world or that we are making a huge mistake if we are not actively doing social media.

    God can work through anything, any one, any where, He wants in any which way, shape, or form. If we have the gift of sharing the Gospel through writing and staying humble in the process by God’s grace I don’t see why not engage in online media. Myself, I’d rather share the message face to face any day but if I got the opportunity to share the good news through an email, of course I will take advantage of it.

  • JR

    The problem I see is so many people are “closer with with many people relationally that I once might have seen or spoken with once or twice a year” (quote from Todd Miechiels comment) while they are ignoring the people they are physically with in the moment! I’m not against social media per se, but right now I feel like it’s really being oversold. Media is more than information. “The medium is the message,” is an old saying, but there’s truth in it. So we have to ask ourselves, what does this medium do to the message? Where is the most important place for me to invest my time? Jesus chose 12 disciples and focussed most of his time on them when he could have had thousands of followers. I so often see social media as diluting effectiveness rather than concentrating it. You can reach so many more people, but do they really know you? If you needed to challenge them is there a relationship to base the challenge on or would they just un-friend/unsubscribe you?

    Sure, we need Christians engaging in social media, just like we needed (and still need) Christians in television. Does EVERYONE need to be doing it. Absolutely not. Do it if it’s part of God’s plan for you—otherwise ruthlessly eliminate all the time-wasters you can and focus on what he’s actually calling you to do.

    • JR, I would agree with you. In fact, whenever I teach about social media, I always make sure to emphasize that we need to take online relationships offline and get to know people face-to-face. I am a big believer in social media being a tool, but it won’t do everything. It will only take us so deep by itself.

    • Todd Miechiels

      JR for a lot of people, the medium of video (telling one’s testimony for instance), is a way to prepare and build up courage. Sharing it through social again takes courage for a lot of people. Of the 120 or so people we’ve had the blessing of serving, many of them rarely if ever talked about their faith offline and this is a way for them to take a step towards greater preparedness and a willingness.

      I think we all need to consider and realize the potential of online as an additional, and perhaps sometimes the ONLY way to relationally interact with someone (geography for instance), and at a depth and intimacy that is every bit as real and relevant as the person next store (often times more so if the other person is receptive or closed).

      Where I do hear a lot of concern is that people that rely or only use online out of fear or lack of equipping for neighborhood and workplace interaction of true substance may be getting a “get out of jail free card” to have the courage and willingness to grow and stretch out of their comfort zone. I would tend to fall in that category.

      I see online and offline as a flywheel, each having the potential and power to be highly intentional, reverent, and relational, or non-intentional, non-reverent, and superficial.

      One thing is for sure just in regards to what we’re doing at the315project, we really don’t care, and don’t put a lot of thought into how many people see something, but rather, the depth and impact it has on both the person sharing the information and those that know them relationally who are receiving it.

      I don’t often chime in on these threads but I really enjoy your perspective and hope you’ll help ensure what we’re doing is pure and reflects and points people to God’s glory.

      Peace and hope,

      Todd

  • Todd Miechiels

    Brandon, congrats on the new book, can’t wait to dig into it. We’ve been seeing more and more through the315project that video testimonies when made available via social networks help foster one-to-one relational evangelism. Some pastors I’ve spoken with fear that social media somehow cheapens or dilutes the effectiveness of relational evangelism. I can only speak for myself but with the advent of facebook especially I am closer with many people relationally that I once might have seen or spoken with once or twice a year.

    Acts 1:8 says we will have the POWER and EFFICIENCY (Amplified Version). I believe you are very right God gave us social media and we can invest time exploring how we can leverage it, or turn our heads away and pretend like we don’t have a responsibility to address it.

    Hope to meet up with you someday soon and thanks for all you do.

    Peace
    Todd
    http://www.the315project.com

  • Water Church

    Our church uses its Facebook page to let folks know what is going on, and we get a lot of views and responses. In today’s world it is so valuable a tool.

  • Jose

    You wrote “God” without the capital G! Please, correct that! =)