Faith and Social Media

Well, this is a first for me. Today, I plan to use this blog as research for a story I’m writing. I know a lot of you out there are far more tech-savvy than I am so I’m seeking advice.

I’m writing a piece for a faith-based magazine about faith and social media. I want to explore how things like twitter or facebook or blogs impact your faith journey (if you have one, that is). I think it’s an interesting dichotomy that more and more churches and religious institutions are using the internet in their evangelical networks yet most churches, at their very core, are about community and coming together in a celebration of faith. I find as believers who use the internet seek a more intimate relationship with God, they’re also seeking and using a more impersonal method of practicing that faith. Do you use social media in your faith exploration? How does technology shape your faith? How does your faith inform how you use social media?

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4 Responses to Faith and Social Media

  1. Megan says:

    I’m going to send your link to a few people who might be able to help. How should they get in touch with you?

  2. Stephen says:

    I guess you’re looking for people like me. I am the new pastor of a small English congregation in South Korea. I operate 2 blogs (though not regularly) and my Church puts sermons online within 10 minutes of my preaching them.That said, the majority of what we do is not done through social networking. The network for me is a tool to stay in touch with people and plan the more normal face to face meetings (such as Bible studies, movie get togethers, and counselling meetings). The Church facebook group exists, but is not particularly active, save in the sense of planning. I also use them to keep abreast of what may be going on in the lives of my congregants, and thus better pray for them. That said, they do not replace non-virtual community, rather they facilitate non-virtual community.That said, blogs do provide a method of propogating more of the ideas involved in Christian faith. After all, we are believers in the word of God, and blogs (and the discussions they engender) are good places to express and explain words.Blogs also allow for faster discussion of thoughts and movements. One need only look at the massive online ministries of groups like Desiring God (www.desiringgod.org) or the Resurgence (www.theresurgence.org) and it’s related supporting Church, Mars Hill, seattle (www.marshillchurch.org). In each case it allows for pastors to work with each other to think through doctrine, and allow us to hear from other pastors we may never have the chance to hear save through podcast.Mars Hill even developed their own social networking software (called “The City”, which they then sold to Zondervan), and is moving to multiple campuses globally through the use of internet technology.

  3. Atlantic Writer says:

    My contqact information can be found on my website at http://www.meganvenner.com.Thanks for your help.

  4. Cin says:

    http://www.faithandfamilylive.comCatholics, especially in the U.S. and Canada, often use the Internet to find other people who are… orthodox, I guess you’d say, people who try very hard to fully live the teachings of the Church, especally in regards to not using artificial birth control.The web site above is one such example.In a modern Catholic parish, your fellow parishoners might not accept a big chunk of Church teaching (including the True Presence in the Eucharist, which is an absolute basic Catholic doctrine), but sill attend church for whatever reason. So you have community and fellowship and love with them, certainly — but sometimes you just need to talk to other people your age who also accept the full teachings — people who won’t think you’re crazy for having a fourth (or fifth or sixth) child, for beleiving the host IS Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, etc.These kinds of blogs feed my faith, and also help me be patient with other churchgoers who might start asking me “are you done having kids?” or talk about being “catholic and pro-choice.” I learn a lot about gracefully responding, not taking offence, loving my fellow parishoners even when we disagree, etc. from like-minded bloggers. We’re all living that struggle, you see.I also sometimes blog about my faith, and have had some interesting discussions with non-catholic Christians — helps me see all the things we have in common, and to appreciate their points of view even when we disagree.

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