I had the honor of going to a women's conference this weekend and leading a breakout session on how to use online social networking sites to the Glory of God. I learned a lot by preparing for it and I knew I was coming to them as one who struggles to use it properly and lovingly and have a balance in my daily life. But I thought I'd put my notes on here in a series of posts. That way I can go back and reread them to remember often.
* my first class was 8 elderly women who really just wanted to know more information about this www. world that was all around them. So we camped out on Emailing to the Glory of God. (I had assumed everyone wouldn't want to talk about email so I really didn't feel prepared… but it ended great and hopefully there are 8 more people who are committed to NOT resending long forwards of photos of cats hanging in trees, thinking they are going to get blessed that day because they sent it to 20 friends. :o) No, seriously, it was encouraging to see them want to strive to better love those in their lives.
Joshua Harris got me thinking how a certain passages of scripture, (with a few added phrases for our new electronic forms of
communication), could be useful to inform our e-mailing, blogging and tweeting. Here are a few suggestions of his with new
words in italics: Note: he is not re-writing scripture here, just imagining how a biblical principle would have an effect on these modern forms
of communication by applying what it says about communication in general.
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my keyboard; keep watch over the door of my send button!
Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the Twitter feed of fools proclaims folly.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to read, slow to reply all, slow to click send.
Proverbs 14:7 Don't follow the status updates of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
Proverbs 10:19 When blogging is abundant, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains hiskeyboard is wise.
Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose comments on blogs are like sword thrusts, but the comments of the wise brings healing.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome words be written by your fingers but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who read it.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion.
Proverbs 18:21 Words kill, Words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.
Proverbs 29:20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
* 1 Timothy 4:5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer."
* 1 Corinthians 10:23 "Everything is permissible"–but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"–but not everything is constructive.
* helpful verses to keep in mind as we seek to have a balance in life, striving for disciplined loving and effective lives that display the gospel to those around us.
10 ways to Use Facebook to ENCOURAGE
others and Point others to Christ
1. Be Real. You’re more likely to impact
someone’s life by applying the truth of God in
your own personal situations vs. posting a
random verse or quote. showing others that you
have struggles brings the Gospel to life.
2. Be Purposeful. When you get on facebook have
a system or a pattern you follow that keeps you
using that time wisely. i.e. have friend lists that
you check and have those as priorities. Have a
time limit as well.
3. Be Rejoicing. Birthdays, Announcements, are
just some of many reasons you can be happy for
those in your life. look at those types of updates
as not just the 411 on others but as an
encouragement into the situation. (and
sometimes those are great times to speak truth
and wisdom into others lives as well, without it
appearing random) Avoid just saying "congrats" or just "happy birthday"
and say something that means more and is more
4. Be Cautious. Many times those you write to
will get your words within minutes and you can
write back and forth without a lot of time to
think over your words. This can be dangerous,
especially if you’re discussing something that
you might not agree with or that you feel
strongly about. Also tone is hard to convey over
5. Be Kind. Even when speaking wisdom or
correction to others. Make it clear… Go
overboard with kindness and gentleness. The
person’s wall you may be writing on may be
able to handle a certain tone or way of
communicating may be fine, but other readers
may not. We have to take responsibility for all
possible aspects of how we’ll be understood.
6. Be productive. And I don’t mean by baking 100
too many “pies” or harvesting 100 too many
acres of “farmland”. Those can be mindless
activities that are relaxing to engage in but there
are so many more ways to make use of your time
idleness and some of you may truly have time for
online farming … but if we’re really honest I
don’t know if that is the best use of our time
7. Be Redemptive. Many people won’t embrace a
lot culture has to offer and you’ll hear often that
facebook isn’t for real relationships. I think
instead of joining the critique, even if facebook
isn’t your thing is to remind others that with all
things in our culture it’s the sinfulness of man
that corrupts our world around us, and that
Christ came to redeem us from that sin and to
redeem this world. Thus we can avoid that
“sacred vs. secul
ar” debate. “do all things to the
Glory of God” turns drinking OJ into a very
8. Be Current. Again, facebook may not be your
thing. But it will be your kids thing, or your
neighbors thing or a friends thing. Sometimes
being missional in our living means stepping up
and learning about something that seems
complicated and takes time in order to impact
the lives of those around us and those far away.
9. Be Close. Facebook is great for connecting with
old friends or classmates, but it’s also a great
public way to dote on those in your own family.
I know my husband comes home every
afternoon and checks FB, it makes his day when
I write on his wall and declare my affections for
him for everyone to see. Kids are no different! it
might seem dorky! But it’s a concrete way of
saying I Love You to teens and kids.
10. Be Amused. Often I have to laugh at what I see
on FB. People will say dumb things, People will
throw sheep at you, People will post unflattering
photos of you, People will tell you way more
than you ever wanted to know. So, in those
moments it’s really important to keep a sense of
humor and also to take things with a grain of salt
and have a big picture mentality.
"Make new friends but keep the old…"
helpful tips in managing friends and friend requests.
· BE wise. Facebook can redefine the term friend a little and now we have access to people we'd like to be friends with or have things in common. But we still need to be wise with who we allow into that realm of information. As a photographer, I have friends on facebook that I'm friends with because I learn from their work, but their friends sometimes request me to be their friend and many times I don't accept because I don't know what photos they'll be posting and what their facebook posts may contain. Past flames (boyfriend/girlfriend) can be ones that you may want to use caution with. The enemy has a way of luring us into deceptive and lustful thoughts. The enemy hates marriage and purity and will work hard but cunningly to attack it. Be Cautious.
· Use Lists. Organize your friends into manageable lists that you can check daily, weekly, monthly. Before family get togethers…. Before Small Groups. Etc… Being a part of a small group at church I'm committed to loving and understanding and praying for this group of people. So, weekly, if not daily I need to be checking up on them, striving to encourage them. I do that mainly by having a list with all their updates in one place that I can access with a click. Same with family members… facebook doesn't know who to put on your info. feed/home page. So take action and make a few lists and you'll find that you'll be a lot more effective in loving others in your life.
· Do you have mutual friends? I can't tell you how many times having mutual friends with a new friend has helped us bond and often instantly adds a much deeper level of understanding and trust. It's amazing the people God brings into your life, even if it's just for a time… He has great purposes. And through facebook I have see some of those purposes and have been blessed through those connections.
· Do NOT invite them to play games, answer questions, accept applications. It’s a fast way to lose friends. If you KNOW they like a certain game or WANT to answer questions about you or know what you think about them… then I think that's fine and can be fun. But A LOT of people don't and they don't want to be intended with those posts and invites.
· Find out if their on facebook much. To avoid frustrations at lack of response or interest. Especially if you’re a last minute planner/inviter. I've had this happen many times since I have access to online every day many times a day. Some do not. Some can't use it at work and you'll find they are on mostly on the weekends. Some just forget and don't use it hardly at all. Knowing their level of interaction via facebook or twitter really helps with expectations.
· DO they have a blog or twitter mostly? what way do they share more intimately what their life entails. Do they mostly just use email or twitter. I have friends that I'll email my blog posts to, or know that when I have information that I share on facebook messages that I just need to email that information to them in order to know they received it. I have friends that they follow when I tweet and would get my tweet in moments but forget to check their facebook messages. So it just helps to know how best to love and communicate with your friends. It may seem like more work but relationships take work… and really, it's just a few minutes.
…. hope these tips help. Lots more to come. :o)
…. hope these tips help. Lots more to come. :o)