22Nov

will you stick to your post?

Recently there’s been a wave of negative press from church leaders about the use of social media among staff and congregation. Reactions range from harsh mandates to church-wide boycotts. The news of it saddens us. Really saddens us. It leaves us feeling all the more urgent and asking questions—a lot of questions.

• Are we willing to surrender to the enemy what could be used to share good news, give life, and bring God glory?

  • Will we bail on a magnificent movement of a holy God and forfeit this online battle for hearts?
  • Like the countless abandoned mission sites in the villages of Haiti, are we going to decide this mission is too hard, too dangerous, and unplug from the assignment?
  • Will we give a nod to darkness and ignore the opportunity to shine light online?

We believe there’s a different outcome designed in His plan.

We’re grateful for the social media sites at our fingertips and the communities that congregate around each of them. These networks—if you really look at and consider the numbers—will soon become lifestyle tools as necessary as driving. Most people have deducted the efficiency of driving over walking. It’s our educated projection that the same will happen with the Internet’s role in daily life.

Seriously – think about what God provides each of us in such a time as this. Reaching out to others online is a Kingdom investment that will have Kingdom returns you can’t begin to calculate. Yes, there are dangers all around – online and in real life. It comes with the broken territory and our fallen nature, but by the grace of God, we will not be moved.

“His dominion is an eternal dominion;

His kingdom endures from generation to generation.”

Daniel 4:24, NIV

Join us and claim this online turf – here and now – for the glory of God.

In a spirit of gratitude for today’s web-based communication platforms , we’re going to break it all down this week and offer a Christ-centered perspective on the most popular social media networks.

First up tomorrow: Facebook.

What’s your response to what is possible here and now online? How can Christ followers use social networks for good?

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  • http://twitter.com/RachelHauck RachelHauck

    I’m in! I’m joining! Yesterday, our guest speaker, a fiery missionary from Haiti was expounding on the waste of Facebook, et al (He called it Wastebook) but during lunch, I challenged him. “Many people will come across the Gospel, Christians and Scripture via social media in a way they would never have in their day to day life.”

    So many are unchurched today. But through social media, there’s a chance to give them a taste of the love and beauty of Jesus!

    My missionary friend did agree with me… he was speaking more to those who do choose to waste time on social media rather than being impacting with their lives.

    Anyway, I’m all in. Let the air wave, cyber waves, the fragrance of the air be permeated with Jesus.

    Think about this: He inhabits our praises. INHABITS! Dwells in them. Makes a home in our praises. Amazing!

    LET THE PEOPLES PRAISE YOU O GOD!

    Rachel 😉

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  • Tami Heim

    That is awesome Rachel. I think some just need to understand more fully how it can be use to reach and minister to other people. The church needs to equip the body so we can all claim the web and use it #AllForHim. Thankful that you are ALL IN and determined to man your post. Let’s go ‘permeate,’ sister – the time is NOW!

  • http://twitter.com/SandraHeskaKing SandraHeskaKing

    Linking arms with Rachel and you and others. Standing my ground on this mission field. I will not be moved!

  • Tami Heim

    Sandy – You.Go.Girl.

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

    I have not heard/read the negative stuff thus far. I can understand the thought below that many people waste time on social networks, but there are plenty of other time wasters as well both online and off so I don’t know why people would focus on just this tool.

    I also know that in my own experience, I have met many, many people online that I would not otherwise have met. I also know that I, along with a few others and the help of the Spirit, have opened a discussion of faith with one who states he is an athiest.

    It is often said that Christians are God with skin on to others in the world. I see social networks as just one more way that can happen.

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

    I struggle with this one. Especially the issue on banning Facebook for leaders at a church. While I wholeheartedly believe social media is amoral, I also believe that if you struggle with something, lay it down.

    The key is that the root issue of the heart is dealt with. I do believe there is wisdom in laying down social media until you have those issues addressed. Particularly if it is affecting your marriage.

    I believe everyone is responsible for their own walk and needs to determine what works for them. Just don’t address the symptom without resolving the root problem. I always refer back to Romans 14.

  • Tami Heim

    Cheryl – It sounds like you have discovered a solid balance and perspective when it comes to social media. We see some churches becoming more and more ‘wired’ as they develop robust online websites and ministries. Then there are churches not plugged in at all. The fact is people everywhere – of all ages – are spending time online. Whether their church is wired or not doesn’t seem to matter – time online is becoming the day to day norm for most everyone. Like anything else in this world, Christians need to understand how to navigate the terrain and how to reflect the character of Christ while doing it. Online isn’t any different – in fact we believe it’s an enormous opportunity! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and shining His light with your online community. It makes a difference.

  • Tami Heim

    As always – excellent point Tony. It does coms down to the condition of our heart. If there are issues that need to be addressed – then we agree – you need to lay it down and look to the Holy Spirit to do the work needed.. But that is true for anything in life that causes you to stumble. It doesn’t change the fact darkness exists and we are called to be His light. Jesus told us exactly what we would be at war with in this world and He promised to equip us for the battle if we follow His direction.

    This is why we are passionate about a believer spending time with God – before logging into Facebook or any other social media site. In fact – we need that time with Him before we do anything in this life.

    Thanks, Tony, for sharing your heart with us.

  • http://twitter.com/JOYFULLTOO Melinda Y.

    As the online mission field continues to expand, we can expect pockets of resistance will increase also. I’ve already stood in the face of others attempting to run their muddy foot-prints all over this bright patch of green grass growing for Jesus online.
    I’m all in. Cementing and claiming this online turf with you. I will not be moved!

  • Tami Heim

    Meilinda – We are standing firmly next to you my friend..

  • http://thebridegroomscafe.com Kmac4him

    Christ followers can use anything for good, because wherever God leads you, He has gone before, He has made a way for you to be His voice, His hands, His feet. He said… Go Ye Therefore… Talk It Up… The Kingdom.. and point the way to get there, point them to Me. How? Love them as I have loved you… encourage them as I have you… sacrifice for them as I have for you… be truth for them… be the gospel message.. be found in Me… We can’t compartmentalize where Christ is… because He is everywhere we are… so Be Found in Him, wherever your Way-Maker leads you, if it be facebook if it be twitter, if it be your neighborhood, if it be a prison, if it be your home, if it be a hospital, if it be…. just be HIS!! Will you be His?? Will you be the one Who answers His call, no matter where or how… That is the true question… it is not our place to question the where, but to be, to use everything He has set in our hands and be His! The Bride of Christ is not limited – not walled in – The Bride of Christ can rise in Kingdom Style because of King Jesus and what He has done for us… so we don’t limit God, He can work through all means, we embrace Him, the possibility of His life, His spoken word in us and through us is unlimited! AWE-GOD!

  • Kmac4him

    I agree… Jesus did not stay away from the sinners, he lived among them, ate with them and loved them unconditionally… He did not preach to the choir… He reached for the lost

  • Kmac4him

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuegF_Acnl4
    I Will Stand For You! Jesus! They Will Chase Me Out… But Jesus I Will Stand For You!

  • Kmac4him

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuegF_Acnl4
    I Will Stand For You! Jesus! They Will Chase Me Out… But Jesus I Will Stand For You!

  • Tami Heim

    Way to bring it Kim – Amen. Amen. And Amen. AWE-GOD!

  • http://twitter.com/geekforhim AtomicPopcorn

    I must say I am anti social media, it is making us dumber as a culture in my eyes, it’s being used as yet another wall to hide behind for numerous reasons. While I utilize it for a business of mine, it is not part of anything “social” I do as it’s not social in my eyes, it wastes time that I could be making real life connections with those around me.Just my two cents – I have had several topics over at geek for him on this by myself and others including a response to the Pastor and his facebook issue.

    I am not saying websites/blogs cannot be used for good, I just know that Twitter and Facebook are being used in ways that I think falter us, weaken us.

  • Toni

    One of my favorite quotes is that “a poor workman curses his tools.” If we don’t have the trust or the skill to do something difficult emblazoned in our hearts, we will blame anything and anyone around us as the job becomes more difficult.

    I’ll never forget an editor of mine picked up his comupter and threw it down the stairs one night at the end of an utterly frustrating day because it wouldn’t print.

    Are we beginning to feel that way about social networks because we feel we can’t control them? Perhaps the true frustration lies in our doubt that we can control our hearts (aka our time, our temptations, our tongues), or the hearts of those around us. Perhaps our true frustration is that we may have to sacrifice along the way. The deeper we go, or share, or give of our true selves, the more God will require. And aren’t we all tired of giving?

    As Christ followers we have to man our posts and stay close to our King as the world proliferates more technologies and tools that are such a far cry from the comfort level of our heavenly home.

    Christ said He would never leave us and I believe Him. If ever you can’t find me … don’t look anywhere else. I’ll be manning my post!

  • http://kimcashtate.com Kim Cash Tate

    I’m so glad you all are addressing this. I can understand what the pastors and others are trying to do when they warn of the dangers of Facebook and other social media. I’ve personally seen people drawn into old relationships on Facebook that present very real dangers of the heart. While you wouldn’t “meet up” with an old flame in real life, FB makes it easy from the comfort of your home.

    But I wonder how many are touting the kingdom possibilities inherent in social media, like you two are? The possibility of encountering an old flame is real (and one should flee), but the greater possibility is encountering and making an impact on countless old friends with the power of the Gospel. In the almost two years I’ve been active on FB, I can’t begin to count the number of schoolmates and others I’ve come into contact with and been able to share God’s truth. Even if our Facebook and Twitter friends aren’t replying, they’re watching and reading what we post. We have no idea the impact we’re truly making–but I believe it’s great.

    I’m standing with all of you, and thankful we can walk in this kingdom mission together. May God bless and multiply our efforts. May His glory shine through our posts!