Wednesday, February 20, 2013


If you are a partner at Heartland Church I hope you caught Pastor Dusty's message last Sunday, which is the first in his "Gone Fishing" series.  If you don't attend HC or you missed last Sunday, this one is definitely worth listening to on the Podcast.  To make it easy for you, here is a link!  Gone Fishing (2-17-13)

Interestingly, earlier this week my friend and multi-media guru David Timmes sent me an article called "Facebook Evangelist" which got me thinking about some things.  Here is a link to that article in case you are interested.  Facebook Evangelist

The article begins with a story about how one woman's Facebook posts about the great things going on at her church actually attracted a couple of families to the church.  I guess these people read all these wonderful posts and decided that they needed to check out the church for themselves.  The article then goes on to describe a few simple ways to use Facebook or Twitter to attract people to your church.

Frankly, I am just not sure that Facebook really works all that well if your goal is to attract non-believers to your church.  I guess I am just a little skeptical that someone who doesn't have a relationship with Christ would get all that excited about anything going on at your church -- even if there are a lot of wonderful things happening.  On the other hand, I can definitely see the potential for you to draw people away from their churches if they see your posts and conclude that maybe your church is more exciting, vibrant or interesting than theirs.  But, that is not the goal of evangelism!

Having said that, I do think that Facebook can be an effective tool for evangelism.  While social media does have a certain impersonal element, it also expands both the number of people with whom we are able to interact and the time in which we are able to interact.  Believe me, there are plenty of people on Facebook at midnight every night of the week.

The one "tip" in the "Facebook Evangelist" article that makes sense to me is advice to be "real."  But, that is no different than how we should be in person.  To me being real means talking about God and what he has done in our lives in a natural, unforced way.  I have an old friend named Tim, who I have written about before, who is great at sharing Christ with others because to him sharing Christ is kind of like breathing.  He talks about Jesus as easily as he talks about sports or family or anything else he is interested in.

And, I think the way we share God on Facebook works best that same way.  If every one of your posts is a "God post" people probably won't take you all that seriously.  But if you mention God naturally as He comes up in your ordinary life, then I think people start to wonder if you really have something they don't -- and something that they really need.

The problem, of course, with being "real" is that it doesn't work very well if you "talk the talk" but don't "walk the walk."  As it says in the article, talking about Jesus and then sharing the picture of you at the bar on Saturday night pounding shots probably is not a great combination.  And, just to step on some toes, the problem is not combining the two parts of your life -- its being at the bar on Saturday pounding the shots in the first place.  Being "real" means having a real relationship with the Lord, and having a real relationship with the Lord means transformation in our lives.

Which leads me to my last point of concern about Facebook evangelism.  And, that is this -- I think the potential to turn people off from God and off from the church is equal to, if not greater than, the chances of drawing someone toward Christ through Facebook.  Like it or not, when we fly the flag of Jesus we are going to be, and should be, held to a higher standard.  We just won't be successful with Favangelism if we say one thing and do another.  If your Facebook is filled with bad jokes, political rhetoric, accounts of party night, and high scores on Bubble World, it may not be a very effective place for Favangelism.

God bless you today, and happy fishing!!

No comments:

Blog Archive