The Church’s Social Media Blitz

One of the world’s largest religions – Catholicism – is urging clergy members to embrace social media, Twitter in particular. Finally, someone in the religious community is getting right, embracing technology to spread the good news.

Growing up Catholic, I attended church with my dad and his girlfriend every Sunday. I dreaded church because it was boring. I didn’t want to hear a monotone Priest talk about stories thousands of centuries ago. I was an adolescent boy with raging hormones and the attention span of a firecracker.

Like clockwork, around 11ish, my dad, his girlfriend and I hopped into the car and drove 10 minutes to St. Elizabeth Church dressed in our best church clothes. After searching for parking, we found ourselves jamming our way through hordes of other like-minded parishioners in front of the entrance doors, vying for seats. It didn’t help that we were late most times, so the only seats available were pews in the back of the auditorium church. Lucky for me.

As I sat there, I counted the ticks of my watch wondering which game I was going to play and what food to eat after mass. From time to time I looked at the pries and found my eyelids massaged closed. I couldn’t fight off his monotone voice . When I reappeared from the first or second level of REM sleep, I couldn’t help but notice kids around me were doing the exact same thing.

That was life before technology, social media and all the wonders it brings. Today, in my mid-thirties, I attend catholic mass and Christian service. I attend both for family reasons. Regardless, mass is much different from service in that the music hasn’t changed since its inception and the feelings I experienced as an adolescent boy are still there.

Looking around the room in the quietness of mass, I notice kids drifting into some imaginary world. I know what they’re thinking, “Only 20 minutes left.” Much like business, spreading the good news grab our attention. If “religion” fails to harness the communicative channels of life as we know it, what will future generations remember of spirituality and the maker of heaven and earth? Or, are they too late?

I enjoy social media and have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram. Why so many? Well, I migrated from one account to another because that’s technology. I jumped on Facebook when that came out. When Twitter came out, I jumped on that. When Instagram came out, I thought how cool and jumped on that. Likewise for Tumbler. I spent hours upon hours in each account, reading about what so and so did. Who the heck wants to know what so and so ate? I don’t but society sure does.

I no longer spend hours on social media, I can’t. It’s too addictive, robbing time away from my family and work. One thing’s for sure, the good news is traveling through social media at snail-like speeds. I believe church leaders are just now recognizing this and allocating more funds this direction.

My fear is the youth will graze past spirituality and religion all together because it’s not interesting…it’s not fun. Makes me think, is this how society views Jesus, not fun? Should he be?

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