As a natural introvert, I have always found it difficult to open up and get to know the people around me in church. I think I can speak for most of us when I say, this feeling is amplified in churches with large congregations. Without having a congregation of people that know each other, the meet-and-greet handshaking extravaganza that takes place before worship is usually filled with awkwardness and walls. By walls I mean, people acting in a socially acceptable “fake” manner, rather than feeling the freedom to act fully as themselves.
Intimacy brings about true actions – people being genuine instead of behaving as they feel they should – and it comes from relationships. These relationships can not be built in the 5 minutes of handshaking or the casual 10 minutes of conversation after service.
To build an authentic community within a church we need to communicate more on a personal level. Traditionally this is done through bible studies and small groups. Today, with the use of social media we can start interacting with each other outside of church walls in a convenient way.
1) Twitter is a great tool for sharing inspiration. Whether it be a tweet about a lesson learned, a revelation, bible verse, or appreciation, these small acts of sharing build bonds between people.
2) Facebook is a way to share your life with people. Your profile serves as a place to explain who you are, what your passionate about, and what your life is like. Through video and photo sharing along with text comments and stories, this social media is changing the way we share ourselves to our friends. We are able to stay in contact and see what is new in someone’s life the second they post a new picture or write a status update.
These highlighted tools can help us learn about each other and build authentic relationships based on love, trust, and understanding.