The days of face-to-face conversations continue to head towards an antiquated concept. With social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, users find more convenience with communicating with people through a screen than being physically around each other. While the access has become very beneficial to reunite with friends and get closer to distant family members, the importance of faith-based communities has also become affected — however, in a negative way.
It is no secret that church attendance has become less important to people practicing Christianity. According to a recent survey, one-fifth of Americans said that they do not go to church as much as they used to. This is due to reasons such as being “too busy,” having a “crazy work schedule,” or just simply being “too lazy to go.” Another huge reason to this is that while churches were once a central hub of communication, social media has intercepted this platform.
Other figures, such as a recent statistic reported by Charisma News, show that over 30 million “dones” in church today, with people instead deciding to stay home and listen to podcasts, or talk about Jesus with a colleague at a coffee shop. In addition, there are about 7 million more people who are “almost done.”
As a result of this attendance decline, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg has an idea to fill the void.
The latest tally shows Facebook at around 2 billion users. That’s a little over one-quarter of the entire world. During a recent speech in Chicago, Zuckerberg promoted the importance of people bringing more unity to their lives instead of being less focused on communicating towards another. To contribute to this potential issue, Zuckerberg is moving Facebook to create more organization within people’s lives through community-supports groups. This opens up the opportunity for churches to be led through the platform of Facebook.
Zuckerberg had this to say about churches being a part of the social media evolution.
“People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity — not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community.
“A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter… Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”
— Religion NewsService (@RNS) July 5, 2017
Of course, this does remove the tradition of corporate worship, tithing, and prayer. However, since giving online has also grown within churches over the past few years, that is a very small hurdle. Moreover, people can invite others to their home and partake in a group worship before the sermon starts online.
Although this could be a suitable alternative for those who just do not have the desire to go to church, it still presents a potential backlash, because despite all the electronic influence in this world, there is still nothing like face-to-face communication.
[Featured Image by Nam Y. Huh/AP Images]