For the past two weeks, my online group has reached out, and prayed for, twitter followers and facebook friends during our regular meeting time…inspired by our leader, Tony Steward, and this missional challenge from LifeChurch’s ChurchOnline. We individually posted on both forums that we would pray for anyone who gave us a prayer request over the next 30 minutes. We responded to all requests by praying right then online. We typically found that twitter followers responded to our tweets with their prayer request in a Direct Message. On facebook, we found we had more success initiating individual chats with online friends and offering prayer. From time to time we came back to our TokBox room (where our group meets) to share how things were going. We pretty much typed our fingers off lifting folks in prayer, and went closer to an hour than our intended 1/2 hour because it was so inspiring!
As much as I enjoyed, and was inspired by, this mission, it caused me to think about my circle of influence on these two sites. Please don’t get me wrong, I love praying for those who are in ministry and those who are following Christ. But wouldn’t it be powerful if I was offering prayer to an unbeliever? Or to someone wondering how people live out their love for Christ? Most people, unbelievers included, are open to being prayed for.
Church leaders, as we look to using Social Media as a means of communicating, connecting, and reaching out, lets remember to embrace (follow/friend) those who may not hold our same beliefs. Search out and accept people from all walks and beliefs. In fact, maybe it’s time to reconsider your circle of influence both on and offline.