The Church: A Mega Social-Networking Utility

We all need to socialize.

Have you realised how pointless Facebook is becoming to some? Is it becoming boring to you? Just Google ‘Facebook boring’ and you will get a hundred results and more telling you why Facebook is dying. One theory I like is the one in which the more friends you have the more secretive you become about the information you share. Well, true to an extent. But the way I see it is the more friends you have, the more information you’d want to share! Albeit a bit carefully. According to me Facebook, or more rightly, social networking will not die down. Not unless some maniac comes with a method of interlinking everyone’s thoughts to each other via telepathy. The sort which only John Xavier and Jean Grey do in the movie X-men. Why do we however, need such modern utilities? Couldn’t we live our lives without them as our parents did without them years ago? And what place does the church have in the social networking era of today?

Don Chealde makes a striking opening statement in this movie

Facebook’s login page attracts first time users to this statement ‘Facebook helps you connect’. Guess you have heard Nokia’s famous slogan ‘connecting people’. Sometimes when I think about ‘connecting people’ it reminds me of the Siamese twins and the many conjoined twins we here of today. But when you look at the Nokia ad, it shows so gracefully a father reaching his hand out to his child. There’s nothing you can do to break the link between a mother and her child as proven by Julianne Moore in The Forgotten. So what’s with the connection? Why do people wanna connect? There was a pretty nice statement made in the beginning of Crash by Don Chealde, who plays Det. Graham Waters. He said that these days people are so longing for that ‘touch’ that they just ‘crash’ into each other…literally! This said moments after his car got rear-ended by another car on a freezing December night. The Internet, Facebook, Nokia and popular network carriers like Vodafone do one important thing. They help people contact each other, get them ‘in touch’ very quickly. They help them exchange conversations, jokes and gossips. Some even let pictures and stuff like that be sent hundreds of miles across.

Let’s get down to answering the question – why people need to connect to, talk, share with each other? Here’s why. We are designed to need each other. God designed us to enjoy and contribute to relationships with other people. In the very beginning, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) even though man was in the Garden with God himself. And ever since, we’ve had a deep need to be known, understood, and accepted by at least one other person. We need others. We are created for community, especially as Christians: “You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27, NIV). That means we need each other if the body of Christ is to function as God intended.

Why people have such celebrations..

You look at the world today. Why do people have soirees and social get-togethers? Why do they come on to networking sites? Not because they are lonely. Not because they have an overwhelming desire to show off to each other. They want to make friends. Make contacts. Everyone needs to face one fact. We all want to be accepted. Be it by our parents, by our peers or anyone else. Even by our God. Look around you. Where do people otherwise make friends? The way I see it, only at Festival times, special occasions when they invite their relatives and other guests, while they are walking down their neighborhood street etc. The church, for us, is one huge forum to connect with people. Not only do we connect with people, we also connect with God at the same time.

In the church, your Pastor and Elder can be your best guides

We should thank God we’re in a church. There are so many people in a church to talk to. At least in our church, Tree of Life, and all the Newfrontiers & NLF churches, there are so many people you have to say ‘hi!’ to. We have a great time in our church, just as Christ intended us to have. So many people, with whom you could share a cup of coffee with, have lunch with and who’d miss you if you wouldn’t come for a certain Sunday. You can do a whole lot of stuff that Facebook can’t. You can update you ‘status’ by just telling someone how you are, and if things are really bad, you can talk in private to your leaders and elders and sought out your issues. No issues of privacy violation here, because it’s moderated by your leaders and more importantly, everyone in the church is responsible to the Lord. You can send real Gifts & See people’s lives’ in real-time!

So, the next time you visit a church, remember that the church is a place to meet God and his people. Don’t be a snob, be open and friendly. Get to know God, Christ and His people. Soon you will already be part of a huge social network. One that spans the heavens!

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