5 Fruitful Functions of FacebookJune 3, 2013
Like any other form of media, social outlets can be used for good or evil. Too often we see the evil: the disgruntled comments aimed at anonymous (but everyone knows who the target is) individuals, the vulgarity and crude jokes, the ridiculous pictures, the annoying games, the time-consuming, time-wasting minutiae of everyday life (c’mon, I don’t need to know when you are in the bathroom, or see you standing in front of a mirror taking a picture of yourself).
So why do we keep coming back to it? Why do we need to check our status every 3.5 minutes? What is so fascinating about the little red numbers attached to our status? Whatever it is, we are in love with it; and whether we like it or not, it has become an ingrained part of our existence. Yes, I believe Facebook is here to stay (or at least some form of it). The truth is, we like staying connected, we like to know what is going on with friends and family, we like the easy accessibility of insignificant information. Facebook gives everyone a voice, everyone a platform.
So why not use it for good? Like all other media, we can complain about it, write it off as evil and try to discredit its influence, or we can embrace it with the intent to use it for good. I choose to do the latter. Consider these five fruitful functions of Facebook.
1. Use it to Testify of God’s Goodness.
Resist the urge of replying to the negativity (I have done it. I have commented in frustration when I should have refrained. I typically regret it and try to delete, but oftentimes it is too late, someone usually sees it quickly). Instead, post the blessings of God. Tell of His goodness. Recall and retell answered prayers. Brag on Jesus, uplift His name, and make much of Him.
2. Encourage Someone Randomly, Privately, and Publicly.
I cannot tell you how many times I have been encouraged in my spirit by the kindness of a simple post from a friend. Pick someone who is down, someone who has helped you, or someone you rarely talk to and send them a few lines of grace.
3. Post Scriptural or inspirational quotes.
Just a line of Scripture or a good quote from a book may be exactly what someone on another screen needs to read. Facebook can be a great tool for sharing quick and, sometimes meaningful, life lessons.
4. Advertise your Church and its Ministries.
Link your church’s website to a post and invite others to attend. Specify a particular ministry and tell others what God is doing through children’s church, bus ministry, choir practice, etc. This will not only encourage your pastor, it may help someone who is searching for a good place to worship.
5. Stay Connected with Your Children.
More than likely, the “coolness” of Facebook wears off for a child when his parent joins, but who cares? Be their friend on Facebook. Monitor their status, review their pictures, check out their friends. Facebook is the new treehouse for your kids. It is where they go to hook-up with kids at school, church, and the neighborhood. Stay connected with them, and keep them accountable.