Social-networking Web sites like Facebook and MySpace are redefining the way many Americans build and maintain relationships—and also how their churches communicate.
In recent years, making social contacts through such sites has become ubiquitous among the under-30 crowd, and the practice is spreading throughout the demographic spectrum. Simultaneously, church leaders are realizing that the sites can be useful tools for youth ministry, college groups and other church groups, enabling members to reach each other reliably and swiftly.
Indeed, social-networking sites are the new coffeehouses and community centers of cyberspace. Facebook, Friendster and MySpace are places where people can stay connected—in some cases, almost constantly—with friends, family and colleagues.