Since it’s founding on February 4, 2004 more than 500 million people have subscribed to Facebook. Certainly this is the new communications tool and one that the Church needs to harness for good.
I consider myself a Facebook Evangelist and use Facebook not only to stay in contact with friends and family in far distant places but I also use Facebook to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each day I try and post either a Scripture passage or a saying from the Father’s and Mother’s of the Church. Most recently I have been on a St. Isaac of Syria kick. I spend most of the day checking and commenting on Facebook and consider it an extension of my ministry, and very important part of my ministry.
Recently, my mother was admitted to hospital for the 5th time since June. I turned to Facebook to ask for prayers for her and in a matter of minutes people I did not even know from all over the planet were commenting that they were praying for her. For some it was thinking happy thoughts and for others is was formal prayer. Whatever the prayer tradition I was pleased to see and feel the prayers literally of thousands of people.
I am truly a believer in the power of prayer. Pray is an important part of the Orthodox Christian Tradition and one that we use for just such occasions. Someone, not on Facebook by the way, criticized me for posting my mothers health status on such a public site. Well, I said, this is the fastest way to get the word out and to ask for prayer. And I am happy to say, it is working. She is getting much better both physically and spiritually. This has really taken a toll on my family and we are all grateful for the thousands of people, people that I will never know or meet, that have been praying.
That is the power of Facebook. Facebook has been used to get candidates elected to office and get some thrown out. It is used to notify people of parties and book signings and may, many other things. We have certainly put the social in social media.
Some 2,000 years ago, when Jesus walked on the earth, He used what was available for Him to spread the message, word of mouth. He used His voice and the voice of others to spread the “Good News” to all the ends of the earth. If Jesus was to come today, no doubt he would have a Facebook page and no doubt He would be posting all sorts of things about the “Good News.”
Yes Facebook and the other Social Media Sites have been used for not so good things and even murder, but I choose to use them for good. I choose to use them to spread the news that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He came and died for you and love you and wants to save all of His creation. What else could I possibly use it for?