Sunday, September 20, 2009

Religion and the Internet

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about the intersection of two important areas of my life - the social web and my faith.

I am a Christian, and am in the middle of a pretty intensive 2-year bible study program called Discipleship Curriculum. Our group meets every Monday at 6am (yes, that hurts!) and we have 4-5 hours of reading and work every week. To try and keep it all straight, I set up a private Ning site for my group.

I've actually put a lot of work into it, but it doesn't get used much. While there are a bunch of guys in my group who are on facebook, most of them have been pretty cautious (or uninterested) in the social web more broadly. And in my thoroughly unresearched opinion, that seems to be a microcosm of most American Christians.

I do read a few Christian blogs (I like the Evangelical Outpost and OpinionStreams) and the pastors at my church (Dave Stone and Kyle Idelman) have recently started blogging.

But a friend of mine, Frank Reed (of Frankly Thinking) recently asked me whether I knew of many really forward-thinking churches or ministries relative to the social web. I couldn't come up with many.

I know that there are probably more than I am aware of ... but also that there are less than there probably ought to be. Given the literally hundreds of millions of people who are using the social web, many for hours per day, it seems crazy not to have a stronger presence in the space ... if only to better understand the folks to whom we can offer help and hope.

I can't help but think that Jesus' teachings fit the social web perfectly ... he came to serve and love everyone. He came to offer wisdom, hope, and help. He came to connect people to him and to each other. All of those missions fit.

I'm going to keep pondering how the Christian movement can be more present on the web ... but in the meantime, I welcome your thoughts and ideas, be they "for, against or otherwise."

Photo by Daquella manera

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

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