Facebook is filling the gap left by a Church that is looking backwards

“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

The above mission statement reads like it should belong to a dynamic megachurch with aspirations to change the community where it resides. With the focus of Christianity being about how we distribute the message of Christ and bring love to those around us, it certainly should be.

Sadly, it doesn’t. It belongs to Facebook.

This week, Facebook changed it’s previous mission from making “the world more open and connected” to this much deeper and more revealing mission.

To be fair, Facebook has been moving towards this place for some time, distancing itself from a place of silly life updates and selfies, and emerging as a hub of modern community building and digital discourse.

And this is where Facebook is a country mile ahead of the Church.

Facebook understands that our lives are moving more and more towards a digital lifestyle, and that life is happening digitally more than it is happening anywhere else; and more importantly, they are providing the tools to facilitate it.

If we compare this to the Church (or at least my experience of it), they cannot see the digital-first life, preferring to look back to a past where gathering physcially is the only option.

The Church is fearful of digital as it means they might not be in control of their flocks, or that other influences will draw people away from their central teaching.

Unfortunately this myopic view is just one of the reasons why engagement figures in Church are falling year on year.

Sure, there are pockets of goodness, but largely I see a sense of fear of what they don’t know, and a worrying lack of passion and drive to address the issue.

“Learn from the past, look to the future, but live in the present” — Petra Nemcova

This famous quote really sums up Facebook’s strategy.

They are keen to learn from the past, but they are not stuck there trying to recreate something that has moved on, because their eyes are on the future, watching and learning where the community is going, and what they want.

My wish is that the Church would react in the same way. We have a huge heritage to learn from but there is a bigger, better, brighter future if only we would turn around and run towards it.

Here at Digital Church, we are passionate about helping churches change their perspectives to embrace this digital first approach.

If you would be interested in talking with us about how we could help your church, please drop us a note and we will get straight back to you.