Still, many clerics admit to an uneasiness about the merger of worship and electronic chatter.While the church debates over the proper utilization and the theological function of social media, one thing is certain: like it or not, it's here to stay.
In online debates and private discussions, leaders of all faiths have been weighing pros and cons and diagramming the boundaries of acceptable interactions: Should the congregation have a Facebook page, or should it be the imam’s or priest’s? Should there be limited access? Censoring? Is it appropriate for a clergy member to “friend” a minor?
Some recoil at the informality and unpredictability of the crowds marshaled by social media, and at their seeming immunity — even hostility — to the authority of established institutions. More deeply, some in the clergy see a basic tension between the anonymous world of online life and the meaning of religious community.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Worship and Web 2.0
I had a great discussion with several pastors last month about using social networking sites as a way to do community outreach. This conversation is endemic of the church's overall struggle with Web 2.0, a struggle highlighted in yesterday's New York Times article. Money quote: