Can Social Media Build Up the Body of Christ?
The Southern Gospel quartet in which my husband and I sing, Ezekiel33, had the honor of performing at a recent community service. It’s a once-a-year event where, during the month of July, all area churches (regardless of denomination) come together on Sunday nights to worship. We rotate music ministers, choirs/special music, and pastors.
This past Sunday, the message focused on parts of Ephesians 4: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. “ (Eph. 4:11-13)
I walked away wondering: Are we using social media to build up the body of Christ?
The passages above go dramatically beyond the idea that only the leaders, elders and apostles should minister in the church, but that they should engage the entire church in spiritual labor. Social media is uniquely suited for this purpose, so why aren’t more churches embracing it? Social media does not mean the end of local churches and local pastors (as I’ve heard some say recently), it means the empowerment of a new, engaged generation of evangelists who understand the power of word of mouth and social recommendation. My thoughts:
* Posting testimony on your Facebook page sends a strong message to your readers.
* Do you have to be a “leader” to be a leader and share God’s goodness via Twitter in 140 characters or less? Think about it: Creating an international prayer chain via Twitter seems like a sure-fire way to help unify the body of Christ to me.
* Teachers (Eph. 4:11) can share their knowledge at meetups and Tweetups, reaching a community of searchers.
* Utilizing hashtags (#) to collaborate with other groups, churches and individuals on a given Bible study or topic provides a strong sense of unity – even in a distributed environment.
Ephesians 4:16 goes on to say that “from him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” I believe that we can make the body stronger and more unified by embracing these technologies.