A couple days ago, Josh Harris joined Facebook and has asked several questions that I, a Facebook newbie as well, have been asking. Go check out his survey of questions and share your thoughts (that is, if you are a Facebook user). Tim Challies has also responded with his $.02 on his blog. I admit that the hardest thing for me is not accepting friend requests because I didn’t know the person. However, I learned this the hard way as one of these friends notified me about some application deal that caused me to peruse his page and find things I did not approve. Needless to say, he is no longer a Facebook “friend.” For those of you who use Facebook, what’s your typical standard for accepting or rejecting friend requests?
In other Facebook news, I discovered that LifeChurch.tv is attempting to start a church through Facebook. Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and “Innovation Leader” writes,
“As I’ve proclaimed several times before…at LifeChurch.tv, we desire to meet people right where they are at. Today, we are announcing that we will be doing that in Facebook by building the first Facebook Church. It is an application that will leverage our new Internet Campus technology to allow people to “attend” and be a part of a church community in Facebook.”
LifeChurch.tv has developed an application for Facebook users to be able to do the following:
- Read about the current message series
- Join any of our three Internet campus experiences through your Facebook profile
- Invite up to 10 of your friends to install the app each day (a Facebook limitation)
- See a countdown to the next experience time
- During the week take a tour of the Internet campus interface.
So what do you think about what LifeChurch.tv, an Internet-based church, is trying to do with Facebook (a social-networking application)?
I have several things that come to my mind, but I would first like to hear what you think about it. There are some obvious problems immediately surface, and it would be easy to give a knee-jerk reaction to idea. Perhaps we can discuss what constitutes a true church and the irreducible minimums as prescribed through God’s revelation, the Scriptures. Dr. Russell Moore, in his first article on The Dean’s Class blog, reminded his class that
“This website will not create community. Real face-to-face fellowship, the kind that goes on every Sunday morning and throughout the week between us, is what God ordained to do that. As our brother John puts it, “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 12 ESV). But this website will be a key means of helping to keep us connected while we’re out on mission in our workplaces and homes throughout the metro Louisville area.”
So one of the immediate questions, then, is whether a social networking program can create community–community where joy is made complete through face to face exchanges in contrast to poke to poke interactions.
Finally, in a more general sense, how can Christians use such mediums and programs as social networking (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) for the sake of the gospel?
On a lighter note, enjoy this hilarious video from Rhett and Link.