the case for facebook

Facebook allows you a very unique opportunity to be connected and we’re grateful for it. It keeps you in daily contact with family, business associates, and childhood, high school, and college friends. Because this social media site can be the most selective in nature, you can keep it as intimate as you desire.

Facebook is a perfect place for you to begin to work out your expression of faith online. Shine His light within your inner circle by reaching out to the people you already know in real life. Use this platform to reach them in a deeper, more personal way. Facebook helps you track the ups and downs of your friends’ days. You can be there with them in a way not possible outside this unique network.

Here’s what God’s Word says about reaching out to the people around us.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:39, NIV

Likely, your “neighbor” is among the nearly two million people logged on the Internet every day. It’s hard to love and serve from afar. Many people talking about this new digital mission field will issue the option that reaching out to others online to share the gospel “isn’t for everyone.” We disagree.

We believe that we are to be “ready at all times.” And we can’t be ready to give an answer to the world for our faith if the room where we are speaking is empty.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

1 Peter 3:15, NIV

Facebook has become an indispensable prayer chain, coordination tool, and communication channel for churches everywhere. It stands to reason many people spending an inordinate amount of time online aren’t finding that connection in their families, in their jobs, and in some cases (sadly) even their churches.

It’s time to spread out and spread the good news on Facebook, beloved.

We’ll be there and hope you will be, too.

Stay tuned – tomorrow we talk twitter.

What aspects of Facebook do you like best?

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  • http://twitter.com/kennysilva Kenny Silva

    You’re right, Tami. Facebook is a incredibly powerful tool for staying connected and tracking with people through the course of their day. What better place to lift up and encourage friends whom we wouldn’t normally interact with otherwise? Sadly, a lot of folks are much more willing to open up via a status message as opposed to a phone call.

  • Tami Heim

    I love being connected on Facebook Kenny for those same reasons. I especially love it now that my kids are living in South Korea – it helps me feel like they are not a half a world away and I am thrilled when the post videos of what they are doing with the kids they teach. It is such a joy to see how they are growing in their faith and accomplishing the work they are called to do.

    I believe today a ‘status update’ is simply a ‘new’ point of entry and if people are most comfortable making contact there – I say we meet them where they are! Always great to see you here – have a great holiday week Kenny!

  • Toni

    This answer could go on for days. I think it’s the best thing since the telephone. Really. The best thing is that my kids are honest facebook posters. Almost every day, they post their favorite songs, their philosophies on life and even when their hearts are breaking. If you have a teen then you will instantly “get” the amazing channel of discovery God has granted parents through this seemingly “frivilous” social network. It’s priceless and I thank God for it. Mostly, I thank God that when teens are typically tagged as “introverted, non-talkers,” Facebook is actually training mine to search his heart and communicate at times it would be easier to sink deep and push feelings down. Praising God for Facebook!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/geekforhim AtomicPopcorn

    I would have to kindly disagree about Facebook, I have posted up my response to the whole thing here at http://www.geekforhim.com/response-facebook-and-pastors/

    I think to the first paragraph, so does a phone. In my line of work we take folks from paper to an electronic system to do their jobs. When the system goes down they freak out, what do we do what do we do, we always ask “what did you do on paper”

    What did you do before Facebook? Why not strengthen that bond?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cherylpickett Cheryl Pickett

    I really love FB for several reasons. First, as mentioned below, it lets us connect with people who do not live nearby on a regular basis or that we just don’t see on a regular basis. No offense intended to a previous comment who said the phone works just fine, but it’s not possible to use the phone to tell dozens of people the same information in a matter of minutes.

    Example from regular life: the youth minister and his wife are expecting and a week overdue now. People are praying and encouraging and watching for news/updates because we care and now are a little concerned. In a congregation of over 1000, we can’t manage that by phone.

    It’s also great to be connected with 50+ of my high school classmates. We share things about kids, cancer treatment, ups and downs of life. Many of us had no idea where others were until we connected on Facebook.

    As far as ministry: Simply put, I have met so many people that I would likely never have met otherwise who inspire me daily and I hope I support their faith as well. We are not friends in the typical sense of course, but we are part of the body of Christ and we pray, rejoice, share and support each other because of our connection there. Several are in other countries so to be able to communicate with them without cost, is awesome in my opinion.

    As you might guess, I could probably go on, but I won’t. I know not every tool is for every person and that’s fine, but social media is not going away any time soon and I think to dismiss it entirely is to overlook many, many great opportunities.

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony Alicea

    Facebook has been invaluable for organizing events. Interestingly enough, I find that more people in my circle respond via Facebook than email.

    One of my favorite aspects of Facebook is pictures. I love to share and to see others pictures. It definitely makes the connection more tangible.

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  • Tami Heim

    I sure do respect you point of view. We each have our own ways of connecting and deepening relationships. Thanks for sharing yours here!

    For me, Facebook helps me ‘keep up’ with others so that when we are together – we pass the small talk and get to the heart of what is going on our lives. It also help me pick up on the little things that are going on in the lives of friends that otherwise might be missed. I am grateful when I can offer an encouraging word, pray for a friend, or share a special happy moment with them. Oh and I love the birthday reminders. I would never be able to send love to so many if it were not for that little reminder in my daily sidebar.

    I do wonder what we did without all of it. How was I a teen with out a cell phone? I know we are here in this time for a reason, so I am going to embrace it and use it serve others. Thanks again for sharing your heart with us. Bless you!

  • Tami Heim

    Cheryl – Way to throw your arms around it and use it to make a difference. You.Go.Girl.
    All that we do when we are in Him – is for Him – and that includes Facebook!

  • Tami Heim

    Me too, Tony. I love the pictures. Instead of seeing family once a year and being surprised at how everyone has changed – I get to enjoy them growing and changing in the day to day. #justsaycheese

  • Tami Heim

    I love being there with my kids and your kids, too! Love them all! They inspire me.

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    Why do I love Facebook? Let me count the ways.

    1. When I first started to write, I was alone. I knew no other writers. Now I have writer and publisher and editor friends. Some have become real face-to-face friends–“met” online. They teach me. Same with nonwriter friends. Existing friendships have been deepened. Honest.

    2. I’ve connected with high school friends. It’s been interesting to see where our lives have taken us. One who walked on the wild side has fallen in love with the Lord. One has battled cancer for years and is not a Christian–yet. I love that we can share and lift each other up.

    3. I don’t especially like talking on the phone. I find that a time waster. I like that I can think about my words before I “speak.”

    4. I’m smarter. Period.

    5. I’m encouraged and inspired to walk more in the real.

    6. I love the way information can be quickly spread–how I can pray on the spot and follow a need. I love how I’m immediately covered in prayer when I post a need.

    7. I love being silly sometimes. I love the break in my day.

    8. I love how family can get a deeper glimpse into my life by scanning my friends and following my conversations. Things that are too hard/confusing to share in spoken words. I love how I can get a glimpse into the lives of my children and their friends and speak words of encouragement to some I never see.

    9. I’m grateful to be part of an army for our King, to be where I can speak hope into lives around the world. I can’t always leave physically–but I can leave home virtually.

    11. None of this means I neglect those closest to me. It just expands my ability to impact others, to be on the mission field. And really, because of truth and encouragement that others speak into my life, I think I’ve become a better wife/mother/daughter/aunt/grandmother/teacher/friend, etc.

    Of course, none of this works without Him, aligned with and walking with Him.

  • Tami Heim

    Wow Sandy – what an amazing list and I couldn’t agree with you more – “…none of this works without Him, aligned with and walking with Him.” Amen!

  • http://twitter.com/heartcures Melinda Lancaster

    Well, the comments have already covered so many of the aspects that I love about Facebook.

    Having been online ministering to people for almost a decade God is opening wide an entirely new set of doors–that allow me to go deeper with people and vice versa. What a blessing. I’m so grateful for all He is doing and the part He let’s me play.

    One of the things that I enjoy is that interaction can occur on so many levels. It can be at face value, or behind the scenes. Long or short, casual or deep. And it spans distance and time. That is HUGE!

    There are many people that I am fairly certain I would have never met, gotten to know, or reconnected with had it not been for Facebook. I’m thankful for the ways God is using me to point people to Him and grateful for the ministry that I receive via my “friends.”

    As someone who has experienced chronic illness, that at times has left me housebound for years, Facebook allows me to minister and have fellowship in deeper ways than phone or email ever did. And on those occasions when I don’t even feel well enough to post status updates I can use my iPod to scan through my friends and still find prayer needs, etc. It keeps me much more focused on others than self.

    One of the greatest pieces of evidence “for Facebook” is the relationships that have become FTF, IRL as a result of online connections. Last year I spent a day with a dear friend in Texas on my way to AZ. This year I had the longest/shortest lunch ever (smile) with a great group of friends I adore. Next month, I’ll be spending some time with another person and we’re both excited. And plans are already developing for next year. All of these relationships are real. They are God ordained for such a time as this. I cherish them.

    I really loved what Cheryl had to say on this. I’m going to go find her on Facebook. She’s someone I’d like to get to know better.

    The “world” is using Facebook to elevate businesses, etc. What an awesome opportunity it is to be able to use it to bring light, truth, and love to all. I can live without it, yes. But I am humbled daily as a digital scribe at the ways God moves online–through others–and sometimes through me!

  • Tami Heim

    Melinda – Wonderful testimony to what is possible and what God can do. Many miss the work of God beneath and beyond the status update. I praise God for the people that He has connected me with online and incredibly blessed that you are among them. Looking forward to many more LONG lunches and fellowship IRL.

    BTW – As of today, I am friends with Cheryl on Facebook and I can’t wait to get to know her, too.

    We love being linked at the heart with you.