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Flock-Fellowship on Facebook?

August 9, 2008

Following Justin Buzzard’s lead, I’ve joined Facebook. My wife convinced me that it was a good way of keeping up with people pastorally and, along with this, I noticed that some other pastors were using Facebook for this end. However, I am aware of the potential pitfalls. We’ll see how it goes.

Colin Adams's Facebook profile

From a pastoral perspective, I’m interested if any other pastors have found Facebook a helpful way of keeping up with members of their congregation throughout the week?

8 comments

  1. Admittedly, I’ve only been on it about a week, but so far it’s been a grand way to have time sucked away.
    šŸ˜‰

    I’ve found it be more much more effective in re-establishing older relationships than in enhancing present ones.

    But, for a guy who was converted during the span of diminished relationship, it’s been a nice evangelistic tool.

    As a fellow pastor, however, I am certainly open to any thoughts/success you might regarding pastoral effectiveness.


  2. I serve as a Campus Minister on a public university campus. Facebook is the PRIMARY way we communicate with our students via the internet. (I’d say 90% of our online communication with them is via Facebook.)

    And we use Facebook (as well as other social media) to our ministry advantage. Some ideas:

    *We have a “Facebook Follow-Up Team.” We visit some students in their dorms and apartments, but we primarily follow-up with students via Facebook. We send messages, post on their walls, invite them to our events and groups.

    *We dialog via Facebook about things we are learning from God. Discussions in our groups or by commenting on each other’s statuses.

    *College students share a lot on Facebook. Without acting like stalkers, it’s pretty easy to keep up with what is going on in their lives by the statuses they post or the notes they write.

    Those are just a few of the ways we use Facebook for ministry purposes. I feel strongly about this…that Facebook (and other sites) can be used for greater purposes than looking at pictures or poking each other!

    brandon
    http://www.mynameisbrandon.com
    (you can add me on Facebook from there!)


  3. Maybe I’m not a very good Facebook-er, but my experience has been half way in between the above two brothers. I only have time to check it every 2-3 days. And I am not on it a lot when I do. Foremost, like the first brother, I have found it a way to reconnect with friends from my past. And that has great value in and of itself. (However, it is apparent that some of them spend WAY too much time on it).

    Second, as a 52 year old senior pastor it helps me keep connections with our high schoolers & college kids. I am closer to our college kids, (we have a youth minister who has great relationships with the high schoolers), but the high schoolers have accepted me as their “friend” and occasionally we comment on what is going on in each other’s lives. I refuse to be the friend of anyone under high school age. That is just too frought with creepiness and the possibility for misunderstanding.

    We are not a large congregation (we average around 350 in worship on a Sunday), so I have the opportunity to have more personal connections with youth than a preaching minister would in a large church.

    Anyway, those are my ramblings. It’s not the Holy Grail, but it is one more way of trying to be in connection with the people God to whom has given me the privilege of shepherding. (I find my Bloglines MUCH more addicting than my Facebook!!)


  4. Correction–by “I refuse to be the friend of anyone under high school age.” I mean on Facebook. I have wonderful and precious relationships with our younger kids in a pastoral care/shepherding way.


  5. Colin,
    Facebook really is a great site for networking and getting in touch with people you haven’t seen in a long time. However, I noticed after a few weeks that my email folder was bombarded with friends either asking or confirming my ‘friendship’. You will find yourself clicking to Facebook more than any other site just to answer those emails, then remaining there looking at what past and present friends are doing. Personally, Facebook consumed way too much time, so I gave it up. Below is more of my two cents on Facebook and its ‘addictive’ nature:

    http://kowalkerjourney.com/2008/08/09/wow-facebook-is-addictive/


  6. Colin –

    As one who works with college students I’ve found that Facebook is almost a necessity. College students check Facebook far more frequently than email, and it seems that it’s much easier to communicate over Facebook than by email.

    That being said, it can be a colossal waste of time if we’re not careful!


  7. By the way, turn off all the email notifications. You’ll save yourself a lot of headache.


  8. I agree with Stephen…turn off those email notifications and your email box becomes less cluttered. THAT piece of advice made me return to Facebook for a second go of it.



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