The Observer this week ran a story about JuicyCampus.com. This new startup website is causing problems at colleges because students can anonymously post hurtful, demeaning gossip about classmates.
This social-networking website, highlights one of the tensions on the internet. On the one hand, the internet can provide a forum for people to meet, reconnect and even fall in love. Recent premarital counselors suggest that one in seven couples have met through the internet. However, the internet can also damage relationships as slander, gossip and salacious images are also easily distributed.
This false sense of connection and community has left many people overwhelmed with surface friendships. The sheer number of people we know and keep in contact with has grown, but we still lack the time to truly invest in other’s lives.
Deep down we know our Facebook friends or our Outlook contacts do not provide us with the true community we desire. A central role of the church is to be a place of community and fellowship. As the church gathers, we seek to draw people together in order that they may connect to God and each other.
God has placed a call upon our lives, and we are challenged to invest and invite people to join us on the journey of faith. What are the ways in which we seek to invest and invite others to heed the word’s of Jesus Christ and “come follow me?” What are the obstacles that prevent us from extending this invitation and keeping us from creating genuine community?