Last year I joined Come Away, a women’s ministry project started in Cape Town by the most incredible woman, Shirley Emms. Come Away has fed me, weekly, with challenging online articles, posts and thought provoking book lists which have left me chewing!
When they first announced the launch of their Book Club, it never occurred to me to join, being in Zambia. I then discovered it would be run on Whatsapp. I know, a Book Club on Whatsapp? Makes no sense. But I joined anyway, mainly just in support of the project, not really thinking much about it.
Well, it was actually fantastic! I got grouped with 5 ladies in a Whatsapp group; we didn’t know each other, yet we “turned up” at 7:30pm every Thursday, and following prompts by the leader, we shared our thoughts about the chapters we read each week.
I am not sure if anyone expected to be challenged and encouraged the way we were, I certainly didn’t. We shared testimonies, our doubts, our struggles, our joys, our prayer requests and relevant scripture.
6 ladies, squeezing in an hour in the evenings; mom’s getting kids fed, bathed and in bed, home-workers trying to push out last emails and tick off to do lists, full time workers rushing home after long days. Then there are those who are enjoying a season filled with the gift of abundant time. It was an hour on Whatsapp, or nothing. There are seasons like that; if it’s not kids or babies or new businesses, it could be geographical or transport hurdles.
The way this book club was run, via Whatsapp, was another confirmation to me about the beauty of this digital era; I’ve always flown the flag for digital technology! It is a gift from God, we should use it well. This reminder challenged me about how I can even better use this platform.
Now as much as I have rambled on, this post is not actually about Come Away Book Club. This is about digital technology, and how we use it. These are questions which I repeatedly ask myself about social media; and I don’t always get it right!
- Who or what are we glorifying?
- How are we impacting our corner of the world wide web?
- Do our posts glorify God?
- Do our comments encourage people?
- Do our comments show respect for God given government?
- Do we scroll on by rather than commenting or hitting the angry emoji?
- Whose posts are we actually reposting, how do they benefit from us reposting them?
- Are we using our time wisely?
Nothing can replace face to face community, but technology such as Whatsapp, Facebook & Instagram are a great way to encourage one another and share testimony, to uplift one another. Social media can be a dark murky pool, let’s bring the light. Imagine. Just imagine the impact, of choosing not to comment, of choosing to click that wonderful little unfollow or block button.
We are what we eat; what are we feeding ourselves, what are we feeding our neighbor?