Social Media and the Church: WWJD?
Forward: Thanks to Dr. Larry Wilson, whose sermon this past Sunday at Lithia Springs United Methodist Church in Lithia Springs, Georgia, inspired and informs this blog post.
Two thousand years ago outreach was occurring in the most profound way using the most technologically advanced tools of the time. Jesus Christ was the ultimate social networker, wasn’t he? He defied the cultural norms of the time, appealed via newfangled technologies such as reading and writing, and did not let dress or caste or peer pressure influence his desire to preach and reach.
Dr. Wilson reminded us last Sunday about the once-ubiquitous WWJD bracelets, car tags, necklaces and more. The acronym stands for What Would Jesus Do and is supposed to remind us to be more Christ-like in our every action, every day. When it comes to social media and social networking being used for connection, communication and calls to action by the church, what would Jesus do?
I believe with all my heart that he would embrace the new technologies, would encourage outreach by any means necessary and in the exact way that would make the most impact on an individual. Prefer video? YouTube it would be. Like the written word? Inspired blog posts would speak best to you. Short attention span? Yep, you are best suited for Twitter.
It is so very easy for me to imagine him in worn out denim jeans, carrying an iPhone and sitting quietly, sharing his inspiration and revelations via text message or posting sermon snippets on Facebook. I can see him gathering followers on Twitter by responding in 140 characters or less to those who are searching, via new social networks, for something more. He’d video his sermons and distribute to a hundred different outlets via Tube Mogul. His teaching would be available via podcast on iTunes.
Every life is precious to him. He would leave no stone unturned, no technology untapped and no person without the opportunity to know him.
Friends, is there really any debate over whether or not you and your church should be wisely using every tool at your disposal to reach everyone you can?