Where’s Jesus? [Main Story]
Two ways (out of millions) for people to find Jesus in cyberspace
ike Fortune is a young pastor in Toledo, Ohio. He’s a husband and dad; an avid Redskins fan. He insists on mostly praying during prayer meeting. And he is also an intrepid blogger. On www.mike4tune.blogspot.com, Fortune has been writing his weekly “Fortune Cookies” since 2006. “I started blogging as a way for people inside and outside our family and church to connect to God. When a former-Adventist friend of mine said she doesn’t hear Adventist churches telling others that God loves them like crazy, with her blessing I added that emphasis to nearly everything I write,” says Fortune. Recent user statistics (August 20, 2009) indicate that his blog has received almost 2,000 profile views.
Fortune, also on Facebook, posts his blogs on the news feed. “I consistently post three concise topics, usually something personal, something community or news related, and something overtly about God,” says Fortune, “because I’m interested in living my Christianity 24/7 and sharing what that looks like to me outside the pulpit.”
“When I schedule my e-mail blog blast for Thursday mornings, it automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter,” Fortune says. “I find that church members like knowing what playlist their pastor is listening to while writing his sermon, or what good books he’s reading. Unchurched people get to know me long before they hear me speak or meet me in person. Blogging has also forced me to be concise and brutally honest about what I say and how, since it is a public forum.”
“If one person is convinced or encouraged or reminded that God loves them like crazy, I think taking the time to blog is worth it.”
In August 2009, GODencounters celebrated passing 1,000 group members
on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2227038501). GODencounters is a movement of young adults who are, according to its Web
site, “wholeheartedly seeking a 24/7 experience of GOD, recklessly living for His renown.” Group members are encouraged, through relevant discipleship themes, to deepen their devotion to Jesus (more info available at www.GODencounters.org).
GODencounters’ cyberspace presence adds an interesting dimension to the movement. “Facebook transcends time and space, truly allowing for a 24/7
pursuit of God,” shares A. Allan Martin, cofounder and curriculum coach for GODencounters. “Regardless of time zone or continent, young adults can go onto the Internet and navigate our GODencounters sites for inspiration and community. Additionally, they can locate gatherings and groups, retreats and resources, and emerge from cyberspace into the real world.” Facebook affords GODfollowers an opportunity to fellowship, worship, and reach out in both worlds.
Available on the Facebook page are links to its Web site, other Adventist Internet sites, videos, photos, articles, coming events, book information, discussion topics, and, of course, wall-to-wall posts. GODencounters can also be found on MySpace, YouTube, Xanga, and Blogger.
These are only two of millions of groups and individuals on Facebook who are letting others in on their secret to happiness. Where’s Jesus? Everywhere. You just have to look—and share.
—Kimberly Luste Maran