A study done by the University of Chicago several years ago found that 50% of Americans have fewer than three people that they can confide in. That same study showed that 25% have no one at all that they can confide in. We hear alot about how the popularity of Facebook and other social media sites is overtaking face to face contact at events such as reunions.
It seems that everyone, even churches, have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. I am not saying that doing so is a bad idea. It just seems to me that the unprecedented social isolation, that has come hand in hand with technology, is where the Church can offer more than virtual community. The poverty and hunger for human contact that we are experiencing knows no class boundaries.
I was in graduate school when the book Megatrends came out. The simple trends listed by the book seemed so obvious to us budding futurists. However, over the last twenty years, I have come to realize that a simple truth can be be very powerful. Although the book is now considered out dated, the trend which equates the need for touch in inverse proportion to the use of technology is still valid (High Tech/High Touch). In fact, with the proliferation of high tech devices, I think that face time has become even more important.
The Church needs to be on Facebook and other social media sites because that is the new Town Square. But, the Church also needs to be much more. Our current task is describe, in a few words, how Mt. Carmel can meet the needs of people who are not currently experiencing God's love in community. This task is not only to identify what we think we have to offer others but also to think about new ways that we can reach out. If you are wanting to get involved in this process, let someone know.