My friend Paul Williams and I had lunch a few weeks ago and discussed many things, including an article he had just written for an upcoming edition of The Christian Standard on social networking and Facebook.
Paul’s concern with Facebook was chiefly a concern over the best way to use his valuable time. Our discussion generated a lot of thought on my part. I’m on Facebook and really enjoy connecting and reconnecting with friends. There are a lot of “time-wasters” on Facebook—not the least of which are all of the requests to participate in the infinite number of games, activities, clubs, fan groups . . . which I ignore every time.
I’m on Facebook to connect with my friends, to reconnect with old friends, to network with readers of my books, and to minister.
Yes, I did say “to minister.”
I view a lot of what I do on Facebook as ministry.
I regularly post links to this blog and I’m regularly involved with ministry to friends through my Facebook email.
A few days ago, a good friend from High School wrote to me and described how she and her Facebook “community” had just suffered a tragic loss. Knowing I’m a minister, she asked me to post some scriptures on her wall that might help her friends in their grief.
A few months ago—and over the course of a few weeks—through emails on Facebook, I counseled an acquaintance through a serious personal issue.
Last week, a friend and I exchanged correspondence on an important theological issue.
Recently, I had the opportunity to help a Christian teen-aged friend understand the importance of making pure choices.
And these are just a few of the many opportunities I’ve had to minister on and through my Facebook account.
Can Facebook be time consuming? Yes!
Do I need to be careful about spending too much time “messing” with my Facebook account? Definitely!
Do I have to be careful to avoid sinful temptations that come while on Facebook? Of course.
Does Facebook provide an opportunity for me to minister to others? It sure does, and—for that—I’m 🙂