Next time you’re at a church service, look around. Try not to be shocked when you see a couple of faces bowed down, not in prayer or humble praise, but in full attendance to the church known as Facebook. Though the content on Facebook can be far from holy, it is not wholly far from what you experience at church. Here is why Facebook is the fastest growing church in the world (and it isn’t a bad thing).
1) Communities of like-minded believers
Your friends are your friends for a reason. Besides having things in common, like lifestyle, you share similar interests and values. You often find yourself scrolling through your news feed just to peer at their statuses, pictures and what they have recently liked and shared. When one of these posts resonates with you, you give it a big AMEN and press “like”. Likewise, at church, you may not be touched by everything said, but there are moments when you can’t help but nod in agreement or release an audible “amen”.
2) We seek fulfillment in the pages
The pages of Holy Scripture are a source of inspiration, guidance and knowledge. The same can be said of Facebook pages. There are numerous memes, videos and articles floating around that can inspire, guide and empower us with knowledge.
3) Like, shares, and comments = praises
There is something moving about people coming together to give praises to God. Facebook is the perfect place for these types of movements. Take the ALS Bucket Challenge as an example: How many “likes” did all of those videos receive in praise of a good cause? Your friends see a good portion of what you like, share, or comment on. They see your praises, and that may very well attract them into praising as well. Which brings me to my last point…
4) There is a preacher, and it’s you
You have friends, and those friends follow your every update. These are your “followers.” They see what you like, share and comment. Your every update is like a sermon prepared for those who came to listen to the good word. Your friends are preachers too, and you are their follower. You can choose to fill their news feeds with inspirational and faith-building content or things that are far from holy. You have way more influence on Facebook than you think. So make the most of your online activities.
Religions around the world are not at risk by the rise of the “Facebook church,” but if you are going to constantly attend, remember that you can make it a holy experience for yourself and your followers.