2010 General Assembly / General CBF / Internationals Ministries / Missions

The Social Media Craze

You know the story…”Well, when I was girl we had to walk 10 miles in the snow, etc etc
etc”  The stories many of us recall from our earlier days are meant to help others appreciate how difficult life was and how we persevered. Missionaries tell those sorts of stories. “When we were in Africa with no water and no electricity….” “When we had to travel across sand via poorly marked paths to get to the village…” “When we got a package that had been in the mail for a year and a half….” Well, the year and a half may be a slight exaggeration to what we experienced, but not much. Transportation and communication were difficult and it often required resilience and perseverance to keep up with relationships. Our son just left for West Africa for the next two years. He tried to convey to me that I would need to be patient, as I would not be able to hear from him every day as I was accustomed.  I quickly let him know that when he was born and we were in Africa there was no internet, no cell phones, no computers. I know all about not being able to be in touch. Geez, when the fax machine came about, I thought it was the greatest of miracles! I had to have someone help me turn it on, but when I could type letters on a computer instead of writing by hand, I thought it the greatest labor saving device since the washing machine. I know all about not being able to be in touch.

Being connected is important to me. Relationships are important. Community is important. I am often asked, “What is the most difficult part about being on the mission field?” “Without a doubt,” I reply, “It is the loneliness.” So let me just interject here and say, “Thank you, God, for facebook! Thank you for my laptop and my droid.”  At this year’s Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly, I realized again just how the cyber
highway and social media have changed and are changing the sense of isolation.

During this year’s gathering, numerous people came up to tell me that because of social
media they were able to follow everything that was going on with us and pray for us. Many told how they would carry our concerns to their congregations or small groups.  Some would come and hug me and say, “Oh you are Nell Green! I’m so happy to meet you and hug you in person.” Others who follow me on twitter would say, “Oh, you are CBF Internationals Cluster!” Several, stopped to offer thanks for network updates and keeping them informed. Truly, I was humbled. I felt like it was God saying to me, “You are not in this alone. I have brought you alongside others who share your heart and the dreams and visions I have placed there. You are in this together.” Yes, I facebook. I tweet. I blog (though not as well or as prolifically as others.) I am linkedin. I skype. I chat and video chat. I do webinars. I do conference prayer calls. I do small group discipleship via
online meetings.

This is why I am excited about CBF’s new facebook pages for missional communities. I am not the only one whose heart breaks for the plight of refugees. I am not alone in my desire to partner in meeting the needs of immigrants. Like me, others want to sit with someone of another faith and get to know each other. I am not the only one who desires that others know the love and grace that God has extended to humanity. Learning and sharing hospitality with the stranger in our midst is not a goal unique to me. There are thousands who desire and practice the same. We can’t all get together in person, but we do not have to operate in isolation. We can collaborate. We can learn. We can partner. We can encourage and pray for one another. We can help each other by sharing resources, ideas,
and experiences. We can gather around the “virtual” table together.  We can “virtually” join hands together and be Christ’s body, be Christ’s presence, be Christ’s hands and feet, be Christ’s voice to the millions of Internationals in our midst.

Passion is a word becoming a bit overused it seems to me. Maybe I am just old fashioned and prefer the theology of call and send. Nevertheless, God’s spirit urges each of us to be involved in his creation in some way or another. No need to go it alone however. Come be a part of a community that shares the call and will go with you.

So “Like” facebook.com/cbfinternationals… and/or one or more of the other eight mission
communities on facebook. While you are at it, “friend me” at facebook.com/nell.green and/or “follow me” and “tweet me” @cbfintlscluster. I can use all the friends, partners, pray-ers, God brings my way.

2 thoughts on “The Social Media Craze

  1. I’m learning to express my passion in the virtual world too! As a matter of fact, it’s through the internet that I stay in touch with some of the Dom people who have become so important in my own spiritual formation.

  2. Pingback: Google Gold…How Do I Get It? | How To Fix An iPad

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