Missions is….Using Technology for Deeper Relationshps

Friday I wrote about social-media being about edification, or helping others grow in the Lord, instead of self promotion. This is absolutely true since using Facebook as my form of communication will emphasise getting likes or comments. This creates an incredibly selfish relationship that is all about “filling my emotional cup” so to speak.

At the same time, it’s important that all of us use technology to develop stronger relationships. This is especially true for missionaries who are apart from family, or prayer supporters.

the thing about Facebook or Twitter is it’s not an effective way to communicate with loved ones digitally. It CAN be used for this purpose, but it isn’t the best tool for it. I’ve been greatly helped with understanding this by Cal Newports book Digital Minimalism , which encourages us to choose the technology we use very carefully.

This has led me to emphasise direct text messaging through my apple phone or WhatsApp in SVG for communication instead of Facebook.

Texting directly (or to a small group of chosen people) has lots of benefits

  1. You can share personal information that couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be shared online
  2. You can send a message that is created specifically for them….you have them in mind
  3. This kind of communication can easily clarify misunderstandings which often take place on Facebook
  4. You can calmly discuss a controversial subject
  5. And you can feel free to share random thoughts or ideas

The greatest benefit however is your able to be “real” with the person

I love Facebook, and use it often. But it isn’t a place where you should be real or honest about struggles. I have occasionally vented online, but almost always regretted what I said.

When struggles come there should be a safe place where you can go…..

A group of friends or family that will listen to your frustrations, show concern, and give Godly counsel

Friends who have permission to call you out on weakness or failures in our life

Friends who will always be there

Sadly many of us have a strong relationship online on Facebook, but lack that deeper relationship. This is incredibly dangerous because without that inner circle of friends, we will begin to isolate ourselves.

This of course means we must have those physical friends who we can have a face to face conversation with. But it also means having a close circle of trusted digital friends when we cannot meet with ones face to face.

Technology gives us wonderful opportunities to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ through Facebook. But lets not neglect the opportunity it gives to develop deeper relationships offline

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