Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Social Media, Jesus, & His Church (Part 2)

In part 1 of this series – I shared how technology is dramatically changing our world at an incredible pace. Believe it or not regular email & phone calls are becoming a thing of the past. More & more, messages sent through Twitter & Facebook are becoming the norm. The number of emails in my inbox is becoming less & less, while the number of messages I get through Twitter, Facebook, Blip.fm, & Vimeo/YouTube  grow every day.

We have a large number of people across the U.S. & around the world who are watching our worship services online each week. We plan on having an Eagle Pointe “online campus” in 2010, complete with online Life Groups/Small Groups. I hear from those who say, “Well, that’s just not real communication – that’s not real church!” Okay – You go ahead and believe that all day long – because you also don’t believe that a 20 – 30 yr old can text message – Facebook – or Twitter their way to relationships & community – because that’s not real to you. But let me tell you — it is as real to them – as talking face to face is for you & I. I Facebook with pastors, missionaries, & people all over the globe. We share pictures & videos with each other – it is a great way to stay in touch & encourage each other.

In the teaching series we’re doing right now @ Eagle Pointe Church – “Church: The Next Generation” (which btw you can watch video, podcast, & listen online @ www.EaglePointe.org) – I have shared how God wants us as Christians, and each of His churches, to be reaching and impacting their communities for Christ. God wants each of us & our churches to be influential for Him. My definition of “missions” is “Influencing my corner of the world for Jesus Christ!” And I believe that technology has now provided us with the tools to be able do this on a larger scale & with greater results than we could have even dreamed of just a few short years ago.

We, as Christians & Churches, need to be embracing, leveraging, & redeeming technology – specifically social media – to share our faith and spread the message of Jesus. I have over 1,600 “friends” on Facebook. While I do actually know most of those people – there are many others who I really don’t know. I get “friend requests” on facebook every day from people I don’t know & I always say “yes” to them because for me it is a tool. The same thing goes for Twitter. I have our Eagle Pointe Church website linked to my page. My videos, blogs, postings on twitter (tweets), etc are all posted automatically to my facebook page. I post videos of our worship services on Facebook. I could go on & on about how I use technology as a tool to accomplish my mission – and guess what? It works!

There are a bunch of people here in Atlanta, across the U.S., and around the world who have had their interest in Jesus & Christianity piqued, who have begun a personal relationship with Jesus, and who have started attending churches in their area because of social networking with me on facebook & twitter. There are people in our church today who have committed their lives to Christ, are getting baptized, and are now plugged into the life of our church family – simply because they were social networking with me or someone else in our church. GO GOD!!! Social networking is an amazing way to be able to share your faith with others and tell them about what God is doing in your church!

In Part 3 of this series – I will be sharing some very simple & practical steps as to how you can do this & begin getting involved with “Socialvangelism” (social networking evangelism). Stay tuned!

BTW: If your not on Facebook & Twitter yet – go ahead – jump in – the water is fine. I also encourage you to follow me @howardjkoepka/twitterhowardjkoepka/facebook.

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5 responses

  1. Melody Suttles

    This is a little testimony of the power of God through blogging:

    I recently entered a Christian blog hoping to find fellow believers that would join me in encouragement, council, prayer, and the study of God’s Word. What I found was a lot of bickering, religious people who used the Word of God to condemn others, including non-Christian bloggers who had joined. After reading the threads and praying for several days, I jumped to the defense of those who were being condemned and ridiculed.

    When I shared what was happening with my Christian friends and family, most of them doubted that God was in this thing. Eyes rolled, heads shook, and some even laughed.

    I continued to defend, love, and minister to other Christians, gays, self-proclaimed Agnostics, and Muslims on the blog… with what I believe Christ has shown me: unconditional love.

    To make the story short, there came a point where God told me to confront the bickering Christians and admonish them to forgive one another, wipe their slates clean, and start over as a united front; a force of love that could use the blog to win souls to Christ.

    The answer came through hate-filled, angry protest.
    I was speechless.
    I asked God to let me leave the blog. He said for me to post one more thing from HIM… then I would be finished and could leave. He led me to post Ephesians 4:29 — Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (NLT). The page God led me to had that scripture in several translations with Matthew Henry’s commentary at the bottom. That was all that was on the page. He told me to not say hi or bye… just post His Word and leave.

    After posting what God told me, I withdrew my membership, login ID, and password; but before my ID was erased, curiosity got to me, and I went back in once more just to read any responses to God’s Word. I saw that the leader of the pack; the main one who had condemned others to hell; who spouted hatred for non-Christians with vicious attacks, gossip, rumors, and back-biting had actually had a change of heart. She made the public statement that she was turning over a new leaf and not going to judge others anymore, but treat everyone with respect. I read on to see if she was sincere, and found that even though her former partners-in-crime tried to entice and lure her back, she refused to give in and maintained her decision to be more Christ-like.

    I left the blog knowing what God had done, and was glad in my heart for this woman. That’s my little testimony. God bless Kay.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:04 am

  2. Pingback: Social Media, Jesus, & His Church (Part 3) « Pastor Howard’s Blog

  3. Marie Coder

    I wanted to add that a small group of friends have started our own “Life Group” on facebook and we have had great discussions. I look forward to logging on and seeing the next topic every day as eagerly as I look forward to my weekly church life group. Social media is very powerful and now I can reach people I haven’t spoken to in 20+ years from across the country.

    August 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm

  4. Thanks for the positive tips. I will use this infor for my class at church tomorrow in Detroit.

    September 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    • Pastor Howard

      Hey Linda – good to hear from you & glad my blog is helpful to you. I’ll be praying your class is eye-opening & helps Christians use technology to further the gospel.

      September 26, 2009 at 1:01 am

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