The inspiration for this post came from a recent sermon from Avenue Community Church in Leicester entitled ‘Relationships in the New Media Age’. The sermon can be heard here.
One thing I loved about the sermon is that it wasn’t a broadcast like most traditional sermons (which are pulpit –> people) but actually reflected the inter-personal nature of Social Media by encouraging conversation amongst those in the congregation. This in turn informed the content of the sermon.
The sermon served to dispelled concerns about Social Media as a new technology whilst recognising it as the most seismic phenomenon since the printing press. The rise of Social Media has seen (and will continue to facilitate) a radical change in how society communicates, culture is created and how we as Christians live out our lives for Jesus.
“Is this a godly thing? Is it a good thing?”
Technology amongst Christians tends to receive one of two responses: either uncritical reception (i.e. always getting on the latest technological bandwagon) or retreat (i.e. this is wrong, it’s bad, we shouldn’t be doing it).
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5)
A Biblical response should not be reaction or retreat, but viewed as an opportunity for redemption. A great example are pastors such as John Piper and Mark Driscoll who use New Media to blog and tweet edifying Christian content rather than calling for Christians to disengage from the ever-expanding digital landscape. These guys are not about passively consuming, but communicating. Rather than retreating from using New Media , Christians need to harness it to show how it can be used in a godly way for God’s glory.
“How can I make Facebook obedient to Christ?”
Two things (out of about ten great points) that I was especially challenged about was not using Facebook as a platform for yourself and actively using it to proclaim the Gospel. Instead of allowing New Media to be a platform for self-pleasuring digital onanism, use it to love, serve, encourage, inform and listen to others. Furthermore, we should be aiming to use social media sites like Facebook to model a disciplined, creative and Christ-centred life.
“How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says… “Your God reigns!” (Is. 52:7)
The challenge for me then, is to use my New Media platforms to show what it is to live a Christian life with the aim of letting the world know how amazing, empowering and wonderful it is to know, live and love Jesus! I’d better get started then.