Facebook has certainly changed our lives. For the longest time I avoided it. Then, as my twentieth high school reunion approached, I realized I wouldn’t know what was going on if I were not on Facebook. So, I gave in, or rather, signed up to join the fun. While I have chosen to take part, I completely understand and respect those who choose not to participate.
Getting a Facebook account has turned out to be a blessing for me. As long as I can control my time spent on it, Facebook is a place of encouragement: I get a chance to encourage others, and others encourage me.
I don’t know about you, but for me there is comfort in knowing that I am not alone in this crazy journey of life. Kimberly’s 6-year-old threw up last night, Carrie’s washing machine is on the blitz, and Janene’s car is in the shop, again – things like this challenge our family as well! Some people post uplifting and convicting Scripture verses that minister to my soul, and there are plenty of hilarious cartoons to give a chuckle. At our house we love to keep in touch with foreign exchange students: those who are here, and those who have returned to their homelands.
With needy matters scattered across every page, Facebook is a terrific way to know how to pray for people. It has given me insight about those I am trying to reach, especially neighbors and teens in our church. Also, as a blast from the past, it has put me back in touch with former students, now young adults. And our joyful conversation, rooted in the past, continues in the present and, Lord willing, on into the future.
How can Facebook be a ministry for you?
Do you look at it simply as a place to vent and show off pictures? I hope that you see it as more than that, as the ministry opportunity it is.
A few months ago I started a Facebook group called Kitchen Music. Combining two of my favorite things in the name, it is a meeting place for fellow cooks. We share recipes, food related stories, ask questions, and once in awhile I’ll post a Bible verse like, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)
Last autumn, I introduced a new feature called, “Recipe of Encouragement.” On Mondays I post a specific person (such as pastors wives, singles, cancer fighters, and around the holidays neighbors and prickly relatives, to name a few) to focus on encouraging, along with ideas how to minister. Others in the group reciprocate with feedback: ideas and what they are doing to reach out that week. It’s a blessing!
One dear pastor’s wife wrote in and said the best thing that can be given for her is prayers, as she often feels like she is under Satan’s attack. Another pastor’s wife joyfully recalled once when some teens in her church blessed them at a restaurant by insisting on paying for their meal. I hope these ideas and reminders will help Facebook friends take time to show appreciation to their pastor’s wife this weekend and continue to pray for her in the future.
As you go about your day as a woman on a mission for God, ask Him how modern technology, even Facebook, can be a tool of ministry for you. How can you creatively use your computer for God? I feel I should apologize for repeatedly using the word “encouragement” in this post. But, really, can there ever be too much encouragement?
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What truth, Sara! I'll admit, my Facebook use has been pretty normal, pictures and checking in with people back home…you could even say selfish since I post word counts when I'm writing to keep me accountable. Your presence there has been a great encouragement to me: I love your sweet words and the Bible verses you bring up…but I do also love the stories about your boys because they're adorable!
I try to point people to God through my blog, sharing the link to new posts on Facebook; so far I don't know if it's helping anybody, but I keep on. I will definitely have to pray, asking God what else I can be doing. Thanks for the food for thought!