Over the last few months I have been somewhat distracted by Facebook, and unlike almost all the other social networking sites I have tried, I have found non-techie friends are using it.
Many people are raving about it, and I can understand why as I have caught up with people I haven’t spoken to for many years. Unlike email, there is a instantness of communication with people and no spam. Which means that short conversations can happen quickly, but without the intensity of instant messaging.
Also, unlike other social community websites, the privacy settings allow for close control of profile and information.
I had been using on-line photo sharing websites, but these don’t come close to Facebook in the social aspect of being able to tag friends and share photos with restricted groups of people.
But what about the church?
I have tried, unsuccessfully to coax church members onto mychurch.org (one member plus me to date).
I thought the reason for this failure was because people didn’t want to sign up for another on-line service that they might not use, and they couldn’t see a use for it.
However, after setting up a church group on Facebook, we already have 10 members. This is because church members were already users of Facebook, so joining a group was easy.
Using Facebook for your church
The other benefit is that non-Christian friends on Facebook can see what groups you join and so can see easily your affiliations. So rather than a closed Christian networking site, Facebook is a social networking site that better reflects your friendships and not just your Christian clique. It is obviously no substitute for sharing your faith in person, but allows you to create a profile that reflects your faith and to share this with your other friends.
With group events pages, we can better manage what is happening rather than a storm of emails and phone calls trying to arrange event.
How are other churches using Facebook?
Let me know in the comments how your church is using Facebook or other social networking sites.