This series is about our life with the church as we attempt to live together as brothers and sisters. (For a more detailed description of this series, see my post “Church Life – A New Series.”)
In order to keep this series interesting, and not always a recitation of my interaction with other people, I will occasionally change things up. For example, in this post, I want to discuss how we use various forms of non-face-to-face communication to supplement our more personal interactions.
Now, I think it is important for me to point out that I’m talking about various forms of communication as supplements to face-to-face meetings. I do not think these forms of communication should ever replace face-to-face interaction among believers. We need that close connection that we can only get by sitting down with someone face-to-face. By the way, this also applies to larger meetings where we only see one another, but we don’t actually interact with one another. These meetings should also only be seen as supplements to our times of close, intimate fellowship.
The close, intimate fellowship that I’m talking about does not necessarily have to happen one-on-one. It could happen in a smaller group as well. But, it has to be a group where everyone is comfortable sharing their struggles and concerns and even victories with one another. Even our church meeting on Sunday morning (usually around 50 or so) is too big for this kind of interaction, although it can supplement the kind of fellowship that we need.
But, other forms of communication can be useful as an aid to fellowship. Here are some examples of how we use various forms of communication.
Telephone: This may seem obvious, but don’t forget about the telephone. When you are driving or taking public transportation from place to place, why not call someone you know is struggling to check on them. Plus, talking on the phone gives you an opportunity to plan to meet together face-to-face.
Email: We use a group email account for our church. Anyone can send an email to the group. Anyone can reply to an email to the group. Sure, sometimes its messy. But, messiness is part of life. The group email gives us an opportunity to communicate with the larger group without gathering together. We also use personal email account for communication as well. Probably the majority of my lunch or coffee meetings are planned through email.
Facebook: A large majority of our brothers and sisters use facebook. Facebook is a great way to know what is going on in someone’s life from day to day (as a supplement!). We also have a group facebook page. We can communicate with the members of that group, plan events, and send out notices. We also include photos of various meetings, outings, and service projects. The last time I checked, there were almost 500 photos on that page.
Twitter: While a few of us are on twitter, we don’t use twitter very much. But, depending on your demongraphic, this is another way to stay in touch with one another.
Blogs: Several of us have blogs. The blogs are a good way to begin conversations or continue conversations from face-to-face meetings. Often the posts on my blog are triggered by a discussion that I’ve had with someone.
Obviously, there are many other ways to supplement our face-to-face fellowship. We’ve occasionally gotten letters or cards from people as well. But, these are the primary methods that we use to communicate with one another when we’re not meeting together.
What other means have you used to communicate with one another and supplement your face-to-face fellowship?