by Allen Ratta (@allenratta)
The state of current online social networking takes me back to my childhood. I grew up in a small New England village with a highly evolved social network. Everybody knew everybody in Essex Junction, Vermont. I used to think my mother was omniscient. Every time I got in trouble on the other side of town, my mom knew about it the moment I walked in the door. Those busybody stay-at-home moms had social networking down to a science.
Then my world changed. My dad got a job with the newspaper in San Diego. My parentspacked five wide-eyed kids and a dog into a station wagon and headed off for California. I entered a far different world. “No Solicitors” signs seemed to be posted everywhere. Gated communities protected isolated people from unwanted intrusions. Back home, I had left behind an extended multi-generational clan. My new home, by comparison, was a social wasteland.
It helped being twelve years old. I soon established a new social network through school activities. My parents, on the other hand, lived in relative social isolation. I joined their ranks after leaving the rich social life of college and seminary. Easy, daily social connections no longer existed on the same scale, once I entered the workplace.
Then my world changed again. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linked In made it possible for me to reconnect with family and old friends, regardless of location. Technology had created bridges that empowered social connections.
This has opened up new and unparalleled opportunities for ministry. Imagine evangelizing a world filled with socially connected virtual villages. I believe that online social networking represents perhaps the greatest opportunity to spread the gospel that has existed in the last twogenerations.
What do you think?
A collection of free educational resources from Fellowship Technologies that combines industry trends, detailed analysis and best practices from dynamic churches and leading experts.
Each issue we will focus on a particular topic of interest facing the Church today.