WiW: On Facebook

Monday, September 6th, 2010 at 7:43 am

The Week in Words

Tim Challies had a great post this last week on How (and How Not) to Use Facebook for Ministry. While the article was primarily focused on pastors and other ministry leaders, I think a lot of the advice given within applies to “the rest” as well.

On Facebook as the easy way out

“Be sure that you are not allowing Facebook to be an easy way of getting around difficult ministry.”

I understand this temptation. I don’t want to actually relate to someone, don’t want to do the difficult work of ministering to them or dealing with conflict or whatever. But I still want to give the illusion that I care or that I’m maintaining the friendship. So I “like” something on their Facebook wall or leave a quick wall comment. It lets me pat myself on the back for being relational but at the same time allows me to escape from real relationship and ministry. Let’s not do that.

On Awareness versus Stalking

“Use it to learn about the lives of the people you love, to encourage them, and just generally to be aware of what they are doing in life. But do not use it to stalk them; and be careful how you introduce information you’ve learned from Facebook into real-world conversation.”

Do you use Facebook as a way to stay “in the loop”–or do you use it as a means of inappropriately inserting yourself into others’ lives? It’s an interesting dimension–and one that deserves caution.

On Farmville:

“Don’t Play Farmville. Just don’t. It’s stupid and it will make you stupid.”

The money quote!

What do you think…can Facebook be used as a ministry tool? How do you use Facebook as a ministry tool? How can Facebook hinder your witness? What words of counsel or caution do you have to add to Challies?

Collect more quotes from throughout the week with Barbara H’s meme “The Week in Words”.

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Reader Comments (3):

  1. Monica says:

    I myself stear clear of Facebook. I opened an account this summer before we left on vacation but was so convicted that I closed it when I got home. I feel that it is highly abused.

  2. Barbara H. says:

    Well, having just moved away from my two adult sons, I love those snippets of insight into what they’re doing on an almost daily basis via Facebook. When I was first married over 30 years ago, we were doing good to call home once a month, so I am glad that through cell phones, FB, and texts people can keep in touch more easily. A quick text or Facebook post doesn’t take the place of deep, meaningful interaction, but it is nice.

    And it has helped me get to know people at our church more. People do tend to sit in the same spot and interact with those around them at church, but FB has helped me get to know some folks on the other side of the building. :-) And it is a good way to keep in touch with prayer needs as well.

    I do agree with Challies’ warnings.

  3. bekahcubed says:

    I hear you both. I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I appreciate how it lets me be aware of what’s going on with the people I love–so I know when my little sister really needs a phone call or one of my brothers needs a kick in the pants! I can use it as a way to quickly arrange schedules with friends and family.

    At the same time, I can use it as a means of avoiding relationship when I don’t want to really share what’s on my heart with someone. It’s easier to brush off their questions on Facebook than in “real life”. And there’s the stalking issue. Facebook makes it so easy to snoop in other people’s lives–and not always in a way that is edifying to either party.

    It’s just one more of those areas of “whether you do or you don’t, do all to the glory of God.”

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