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Reading through file 3 “Jesus Author of Relationship” I was really concerned that there was going to be some tough, living in community style advice and words. After all, every other time I had ever spoken to anyone who had any understanding of Christianity at all about the question of relationship it always defaulted back to “Well Jesus LIVED with the disciples for three years man. Talk about intentional community.”
But that’s not what I found here at all. Instead I found six basic values that are basically designed to help someone start an online community. Not intentional community, just a place where people can be and talk with one another. These values are
But there’s one thing these all have in common that stuck with me throughout the entire chapter. “God wants you to go deeper…even more so now when Wi-Fi, widgets, and apps so easily dehumanize human hearts”
I don’t about the rest of you, but this was actually the appeal for me to go online and get involved with social networking in the first place. This is why Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) are so popular: anonymity. The ability to hide behind a brick wall made up of widgets and apps and avatars isn’t merely an obstacle for the online missionary to overcome, but a defense mechanism for every person who has ever been wounded in a social context. That is to say, these are the defense mechanisms I used when I first got involved with social media: I could be the person I wanted to be and happily ignore everything and everyone who challenged me.
In light of that these values are not just a means of building community and discipling the world through a new media, neither are they a replacement for the four spiritual laws and the decades of evangelistic methods that have come before now but rather they are a means by which we can meet someone where he or she is and then draw that person back into healthy, personal relationship.
- Have you ever used social media to help heal someone before? What were some of the challenges of that? Would deliberately tapping into these values have helped?
- Which of these six values speaks to you the most strongly? The least?
- What values, if any, would you add to the list?
image by brooklyn_museum