Friday, November 23, 2012

The Social Media Dilemma

I came across this gem from the folks at "The Onion."

Makes you think, right?  (Man, I hope it makes you think!).  It certainly made me think.  As a minister - an "advertiser," if you will, for the Church - I like to make use of Social Media to share the message of the Gospel, as well as news of what we are doing in our parish, diocese and Church throughout the world.

However, does Social Media help or hinder the actual task of our ministry?  What I mean is, does gathering Facebook friends, "likes" and followers actually contribute to the mission that Jesus tasked us with when He returned to the Father?  "Go make disciples."  What do all those "likes" mean?  Are they disciples, or has Facebook, Twitter and the like served to numb our audience to the saving reality of being a disciple of Jesus Christ?  Is it just enough for a young person to "like" Catholicism, service, Jesus, my parish - or any other religious "entity" - while they are in no way engaged in those things?

I think the answer is - or should be - no!  Our faith is not a matter of "consuming"; it is a matter of believing and following - active discipleship.  As ministers it is certainly OK and advisable to "advertise" via Social Media because that is where the souls are accessible.  However, it cannot stop there.  Once we have their attention, what do we do then?

And that is a question for planners and evangelizers to answer for themselves.

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