One week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, there seem to be so many failures in the ways that our theology is playing out in the public sphere. And while quick responses, blog posts, sound bytes and tweets are important in this moment, as they emerge from varying political and evangelistic agendas they also expose some of Christianity's devastating aspects.
The temptation of Pinterest is in the part of it that is trite, banal and predictable. But that's not all there is to the site's appeal.
Social media can reduce activism to a fad—something that we take part in because a particular Twitter hashtag is trending, a video has become viral or a Facebook cause has become popular. It can ignore the hard work that has been taking place over decades and discount a long-term strategy that a community might have.
As important as it is to minister from those wounded places, to preach about real emotional issues, and to write from a place of spiritual depth, there is also danger in it—for us and for our communities.
Church leaders are already strapped with not enough hours in the day. And now we’re supposed to be engaging in social media too? How do we manage it all?
“Online, I minister to people I may never see. But I am starting a conversation that may lead them to a church.”
After a couple of years of sweating over each syllable, I suddenly needed the words. I hungered to write them. On vacations, my family urged me to take a break and I became cranky. What happened? How did the words begin to grow like wildflowers that I no longer had to coddle?
The biggest question about social media and the church is not how the church can harness the power of social media for good ends while safeguarding against bad ones (useful as such discussions may be). It's how social media is changing what it means to be church.