The ekklesia of social media

2 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    Honestly, it seems like making a big deal over something that really isn’t a big deal. I’m not even convinced that what’s going on is fundamentally new. Oh, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are all relatively new, but people have been connecting, even at a distance, for ages. What’s new is the speed of communication and the ease with which folks can get involved in the conversation. That said, it certainly changes how ministers go about ministering to people if only because people are developing different assumptions about how they will communicate with others. The same sort of change happened with the advent of the postal service and again with email, and neither required any fundamental changes in the church. Even blogging, which has gone mostly unmentioned so far, has its old time analogs.

    The one major change that social media facilitates is the elimination of meetings in favor of other decision-making methods. However, while it’s good to get away from having endless meetings, doing so can also make for a significantly more autocratic or oligarchic process. Consider the examples you gave. How was it decided that the church should have new or more flowers planted around it? How are competing visions for the church’s landscaping dealt with without resorting either to meetings or to giving one person control? For the young adult group, how was it decided that the event should be going to a soup kitchen instead of going hiking or to see a movie?

    Finally, turning to the denominational authorities, I wasn’t aware that any successful event has ever been sent down from on high. I was under the impression that successful programs have always started with interested laity and clergy putting things together, possibly in the context of one of the many societies, fellowships, caucuses, or consortia that have been formed in this church.

  1. October 25, 2011

    […] Over at Seven Whole Days, Scott Gunn has posted a very interesting reflection on the church in the age of social media. […]