On Oct. 5, Facebook eclipsed 1 billion users! This is an astonishing achievement, and they are to be commended for their stunning growth. Unless you have an IT background, you have absolutely no idea how difficult it is to support and serve this growth.
In celebration, Facebook produced a video for the first time in their short but meteoric history. I would really encourage you to watch it carefully, reflecting on its message. Listen for these key phrases;
- Open up and connect with people
- A place to get together and share
- Where they belong
- Makes us wonder if we are alone
Either accidently or purposefully, Facebook has tapped into something that deeply resonates with people. There is a universal need for acceptance, communication and community. It’s built into our DNA, part of who we are and the way God made us.
From its inception at Pentecost, followers of Jesus Christ exhibited an almost insatiable need and desire to assemble. But their getting together was not for pointless meetings—they were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, breaking of bread and prayer. Everyone within and without the early church was filled with awe, believers sold property and possessions to give to anyone. There were no needy persons among them. They had one heart and mind, even solving problems within their community. They met and ate in each other’s homes with glad and sincere hearts.
Wow, does this sound like a living definition of community! There were at least two practical and immediate effects resulting from this community:
- They enjoyed the favor of all the people
- God added to their number daily and rapidly
I use the term “Facebook Community Church” jokingly, and while they certainly do not bear the marks of a true church, their acceptance and sense of community universally resonates. What Facebook has done is fill a hole we, the Christian community, have created through absence and neglect.
I know the church is not a coffee shop or social club, just to enable people to connect with one another. We are to introduce and connect people to the living God through Jesus Christ, followed by ongoing growth and discipleship with God and his people. However, if God used community as a way to reach people through the first-century church, why have we abandoned it from our daily walk with Jesus?
It seems like some have compartmentalized connecting with non-Christians to greeters or evangelist; someone else who is uniquely gifted. We need to break down the false wall between living for Jesus, meeting people, building community and evangelism. As a believer in Jesus, I am to build community within and outside the walls of the church as part of a broader view that we are broken, lonely and lost. Having found Jesus as the only person that heals and restores our eternal brokenness through God’s grace; how can help not sharing it?
Please humor me and take a moment to think about this very important question; name the non-Christians with whom you have an open, transparent and growing relationship. These are people in whom you regularly invest your most precious resources: your time and attention.
Here are five very simple and practical ways to integrate this into our daily lives …