Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 18: The Times They Are-A-Changin

Bob Dylan said it best "The times they are-a-changing." This pertains to all areas of life but I want to focus on church life. One big thing I get accused of is being on Facebook a lot! First of all, if you are a Blackberry user then you are on Facebook all of the time. You can literally get your Facebook pushed straight to your phone. I will take it one step further....if you have any device that has "apps" you will have Facebook all of the time.

I have two reasons as to why I am ranting about Facebook. The first is that this social networking site has changed the way churches conduct themselves. If it hasn't changed your will whether you like it or not. When a church makes changes in their staff or volunteers, it would be my suggestion that they do this at the highest level of integrity and grace. Perhaps even at a higher level than a secular company would (I hate the word secular btw). You may ask why? I have seen too many times where churches mishandle letting someone go, it was done at a less than professional level. Usually when a church does not have a legitimate excuse, they hide behind the "God card" and you know...I think that puts God in a awkward position. I am not saying churches should not let people go. One of the first things I had to do when I became the pastor of Radiant Fellowship was to fire a staff decision I made that year. However, to fire a staff person the wrong way or to cut volunteers for less than flattering will end up on Facebook. The problem with that is anything that ends up on Facebook in someone's status can spread quickly and become viral. Now not only do the people at your church know both sides of the does the many other people that can read status updates from those affected which can make a church look bad REALLY quick.

Second reason is that technology can be a great friend to churches. I am still utterly baffled by churches that do not have a website. At the very least a church should have a blog site which can function as a church website. I will go one step further and say Facebook can be one of the greatest tools out there for pastors to use. If you are an introvert, you can sit behind a computer monitor and socialize with people you normally never would be able to reach all while taking in epic amounts of Mt. Dew and Red Vines! I have made many new connections both within this city and outside of this city that I will share in days to come. However, having a Facebook presence and not being afraid to engage in random discussion is huge in today's society. It has led to growth at our church which is a great thing!

Whether churches want to embrace it or not, we have this vast thing called the internet and it is changing the way we do church. Why not embrace it and run with it!

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