|Facebook: Your Group's Best Friend?|
I don't have a hard time taking shots at Facebook, and piously talking about what a time-waster it can be. I know if I'm not careful it can be a big time-waster for me.
But that doesn't mean everything about Facebook is evil. In fact, we should probably recognize that half the world is on Facebook; and probably far more than half our church is on Facebook. In some ways, Facebook has become what email was 15 years ago.
So instead of condemning Facebook, let's try to think about how it can be beneficial. A while back I put together a PRIVATE (that's important) Facebook group for my small group. I invited/added all the members of our group (including those who aren't quite as faithful with their attendance), and have just sat back and watched to see how we used it.
The following list is based mostly on the things for which I've seen our group use Facebook. A few of the items I've added as my own ideas. Here are FIVE WAYS FACEBOOK CAN IMPROVE YOUR SMALL GROUP:
- Remind people of upcoming events. We're having a party this Sunday and the host has used Facebook to give directions and remind people what they should bring.
- Coordinate missional activities. Every month we serve together at a soup kitchen. We use Facebook to let each other know who will be there and who will be missing.
- Share prayer requests. Since the group is private, people feel free to share things with each other that they might not share with all their Facebook friends. Facebook's structure allows people to respond and encourage.
- Encourage one another. Sometimes things are shared when we're together that require some "follow-up encouragement." Facebook is a great venue for that.
- Sharing teaching material. If I want to, I can send out each week's discussion questions ahead of time so the group can be thinking through the material before we ever come together.
Undoubtedly, we'll continue to see more and more venues for social networking in our lifetime. For now, though, Facebook is king. So tame the beast and use it to your benefit. If successful, you'll grow your community!