about my denomination, the United Methodist Church, launching a new four-year campaign to appeal to young adults caught my attention earlier this week. From what I've read and by exploring the new website
that is one facet of reaching out to people who are already connected via social networking sites, I think the UMC is embracing the spirit of John Wesley in the new millennium. From my understanding and study, Wesley wasn't a person who was going to set back and wait for the people to come to him--he was going out into the places they lived and connecting with them there. It's not hard to imagine Wesley using Facebook today to find ways to connect with people.
The biggest thing I've noticed is the way the church is trying to be relevant to the lives of people today. In the past couple of years, I've noticed the word "relevant" being used a lot in attempts to figure out how the church can connect with young adults.
My big fear in all of this is that once a person has his or her heart strangely warmed ala John Wesley, that they'll come in to visit the local church and find that it's nothing like the social networking site they're used to. I'm not saying we should allow texting and adding friends during a service, but I do hope the local congregations are being prepared to rethink church themselves. I think the worst thing that could happen is that people start to visit, excited by what they've experienced and wanting to explore deeper, only to find the church experience one that dampens their fire instead of fanning it. Or worse yet--we turn these people into more pew potatoes...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/06/2009 07:38:00 PM