Those of you who are my “friends” know that I frequent Facebook usually several times a day. It is easy for me to do, seeing that I am online a lot of the morning and part of the afternoon anyway, accessing school programs and organizational tools for our 3 children. It has been a wonderful, economical tool for me, to keep in touch with family spread far and wide across the country, and friends around the globe. It has gotten me back in touch with numerous friends from the past, with whom I had completely lost touch. It has helped me sharpen and be sharpened, and provided countless opportunities for gospel outreach.
What kind of things do I post? Funny things that happen that brightened my day. Laughter is good medicine. Inspirational things that might also inspire someone else to grow in the Lord. Prayer requests. Photos, so that those we care about can see what’s happening out here in Wyoming (aka by some as “the middle of nowhere”). 😉 And, I post blessings: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!”
One of the best things that Facebook does for me is two-fold. It allows me to let the ladies of our congregation to know me. Those of you who are pastor’s wives understand that it can be a little lonely. We don’t have the luxury of being close friends with anyone in our church, really. Most of our conversation with members of our church is either about spiritual things (in counseling, Bible studies, etc) or “small talk” that we have time and opportunity to engage in before services or at gatherings. Anyone who is on my FB friends list gets to see the real me. I am careful, but also candid. If anyone wants to know about me, or know how to pray for me, it’s pretty much right there.
I know of some who would say, “So much of my life is already public…I want to keep some things to myself!” Believe me, I do. But I also recognize that much of what is public about me at church is also in “formal ministry mode.” I’ve known congregations where the membership was excluded from most of the regular daily happenings of the pastor and his family. The way I see it, our “sheep” need to see how we behave not only in blessing but also in trial, disappointment, and in those spontaneous, speechless moments as well. They need to know us, so they can trust us.
The other facet of this is that it allows me to know our ladies. I don’t go nosing around on profiles, but I love to learn about blessings and happenings each day. I also am thankful when I can learn when someone is having a hard day, or is not feeling well, but would hardly pick up the phone to tell me…because it’s not worthy of an official prayer chain call.
A shepherd knows his sheep intimately, as individuals, with all their strengths and weaknesses. A shepherdess should as well. I see technology as an added benefit in this generation…a tool which helps me in an additional way to love others as well as to, by God’s grace, “be…an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
p.s. If you want to “friend” me, there is a link in the left side bar. 😉