As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Facebook and Twitter and other social media networking sites. They allow me to follow some of my favorite pastors to get inside their head today instead of waiting for their next book to come out.
And Facebook to me is one of the best things that ever happened for pastors of larger churches like ours. We’re in the process of implementing some new software for the church and in the gathering of information stage, we’ve discovered that about 1600 people call CFCOG their home church. That’s a lot of people! It’s impossible for Earl and myself to know every single person’s name, much less details about their lives. Facebook however does help in at least getting a brief glimpse into people’s lives.
However, here’s my problem with it all. It has never been easier than today to have “Friends”. Just click the “accept friend” button or “add as friend” button and BOOM there you go, “I have another friend”. But really you don’t…yet many people are today gauging their quality of relationships on the quanity of friends or followers they have on these sites. So with that said, here are a few thoughts:
- People aren’t looking for a friendly church, they are looking for a friend in church.– It’s easy to be friendly, but it takes time and effort to truly be someone’s friend. Just because you “friend” someone on Facebook doesn’t mean they are your actual friend. So when someone new comes in, we must be sure to go beyond the superficial and truly be a friend.
- People don’t need MORE relationships, they need a few DEEPER ones where they give each other refrigerator rights.– Again the quantity of “friends” you have in life or Facebook means squat. My guess is that 99% of the people who are friends with you on Facebook would be irked if you called them during the middle of the night with a problem. A true friend is someone you can call in the middle of the night to say you need help and they just come right on over without asking a billion questions on the phone first. A true friendship is when someone is at your house and they just get in your refridgerator without even asking, because they’ve earned that right. The bible gives us 58 “one anothers” we are to be doing with each other…some of them are quite deep like, “confess your sins to one another”. Posting your deepest, darkest sins on your Facebook wall for all your “friends” to see is not the wise thing to do. So who are you intentionally developing a deeper, personal relationship with so you can pray, encourage and hold each other accountable?
- Proverbs 18:24- “A man with many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend he can have that will stick closer than a brother”.