Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Would You Like to Know the Truth?"

That was asked of me in tract form this morning. The pamphlet was tossed in the front door of the church this morning. No kidding. A guy pulled up in a mini-van, opened the church's front door (why was it unlocked? But that's for another time), threw the paper on the floor, ran back to his vehicle, and sped off, tires squealing.

It looks like the Jehovah's Witnesses are worried about Lutheran salvation. But don't want to tell us that to our faces. All we have to do is read this little tract, and we'll know The Truth, which, it is assumed, is different from The Truth that we confess as Lutherans.

But this isn't any different than what we want social media to do. We want to tell people The Truth but not to their faces. We want a social barrier to protect us from possible conflict from people who might not welcome our message. We post our message (i.e., throw our pamphlet on the ground and run) and assume that we've done our evangelistic job. If people don't read it, that's their problem. We've put it out there. So, we can't be accused of sleeping at the proclamatory switch.

At least, that's what I see a lot of. Hit and run evangelism, 21st century, internet style. Some Christians don't want to personally engage. They want tools and gadgets to do their jobs for them.

But that misses the point of social media. Too much emphasis on "media" and not enough on "social." The best use, I think, of social media, is creating online relationships, dialoguing, debating, sharing ideas, offering concerns, even praying.

What we SHOULDN'T be doing is using social media as a pulpit, assuming that it is a one-way conversation. Social media is one great big conversation. With everyone talking at the same time.

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