This month’s article resources focus on faith expressed in 140 characters. What are the pros, cons, and misconceptions about the young adult generation and faith on social media? How are you presenting yourself on social media? Is it helping or hurting your ministry?
1. Read the articles.
2. Reflect on the quotes drawn from each article.
3. Post your thoughts on the quotes and respond to the ideas and questions posed in the articles in the comments below.
“Instead of unpacking the Bible, the Church sometimes just uses emotional catch phrases to hype up its congregation.”
“The un-churched of my generation know how to see through fake sentiments and mentalities. They know when they are getting something of substance or are just being emotionally yanked around by great-sounding phrases that do not hold their weight. And as young adults are spending an increasing amount of time in academia, they are looking more and more for answers of substance, not answers of the emotional.”
“Yet the more we try to fit in to the mentality of the popular the more we are losing out on the real. Real life change does not come through easily re-tweetable sayings.”
“The unchurched [and arguably, young adults] are not looking for one-liners about how to have a better life in Christ. They do not want to walk away from service able to tweet their favorite phrases. They want to ask questions, the kind of questions that can be a pastor’s worst nightmare, the ones without the quick Christian response.”
“Social media was playing into the worst parts of me as a leader; it amplified my need to be seen and heard.”
” It was healthy to step back and ask, Why am I using social media? What are my goals with it? How is it changing me?”
Packiam presents dangers and benefits of social media in ministry (read the article to get the details on each one):
3 Dangers of Social Media:
1. Social media tempts me to get into heated debates with people I don’t know.
2. Social media removes nuance. It reduces people to words.
3. Social media feeds narcissism.
3 Benefits of Social Media:
1. Social media can extend the influence of sermons.
2. Social media allows you to address topics you can’t from the pulpit.
3. Social media can build real-life relationships.
Keeping the Balance:
Here are three things I’m [Packiam] trying to do to avoid the dangers of social media while holding on to the benefits.
1. Use social media only for what it’s good for.
2. Don’t make flippant replies, snappy comebacks, or snarky comments.
3. Periodically take a fast from social media.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.
How does social media positively or negatively influence ministry? What should the church be doing through social media? What, from these articles, speaks to you?