A co-worker at MonkDev posted this article, How Facebook Killed the Church written by Richard Beck, Associate Professor and experimental psychologist at Abilene Christian University. Here are some brief thoughts on a couple of the points made:
Why didn’t Gen X leave the church while the Millennials are leaving in droves? It’s about those cellphones. It’s about relationships and connectivity.
Is Facebook and cell phone connectivity really killing the church? Or is the rise of social networking a reflection of a sociological shift that was already occurring in the US that reinforces the decentralization of power, rejection of modern concepts and the desire for people to seek out new forms of community. The author continues:
Church has always been about social affiliation. You met your friends, discussed your week, talked football, shared information about good schools, talked local politics, got the scoop, and made social plans (“Let’s get together for dinner this week!”).
Why wouldn’t we say that the many who are leaving demonstrate 1 John 2:19. (They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. ) Cultural Christianity is a deep epidemic in the Church, the numbers (my opinion) would astound us if we actually knew the number of unsaved religious Christians. This comment in the article reinforces the false Christianity. While certainly the church provides a third place of social connectivity that is the not primary reason God formed a community reconciled to Himself to be on mission to the world. As the culture shifts what will take place is that many established churches, which were appropriate in modernity may lose people but in this changing time God is leading others to start new churches that reflect the ideology generation resonates with.