I always hear a lot about churches and social media.  About how some do it and some do it badly.  I also hear lots of people that are of the opinion that you can’t build a community on-line. For example, our senior pastor who thinks “if you’re on facebook and over 30, you’re a perv.” 

I think that might be a bit drastic.  I would temper that with: you can’t build an “effective” community “only” on-line. 

Perfect example, I am not a huge facebook fan.  I’m just not.  That said I do check it about once a month, I post on it may once every 2 months.  So I’m not super active, but I have friend-ed of most of my family coworkers and some random friends from other places. Just your below average connections. 

I found out today my grandfather passed away last night.  My grandfather was very close to me, and played a very special role in my life.  I called my immediate family and then I posted it on facebook, if for no other reason than it seemed a safe way to kinda give my coworkers a “heads up I am going to have some baggage when I come into the office tomorrow, consider yourself warned.”  I went upstairs and put my kids to bed, when I came down I literally had 30 emails from friends, family, and coworkers, all saying they were sorry for my loss.

It made me realize a few things;
 1st Wow I am really well loved.
 2nd  facebook responses are perfect in this scenario.
Because, right now I am not really in the mood to talk to anyone. Flat out, I just don’t want everyone calling me right this minute. I am still kinda raw.  However, seeing all these short messages are great because doesn’t seem trite to me, it seem like people acknowledging that I have some stuff going on and are giving me some space to work though it.  Tomorrow, I am sure some of the same people will come up to me in the hall and give me a hug and a quick encouragement, but right now the short facebook messages are keeping me going.

So consider that when you think about how your church should handle social networking.

Until now I never looked at social media as the “right tool” for any job. I always saw it as a tool, but on the whole not worth the effort.  However, right now I do see the value.