Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New ways to evangelize

Are the days of going door to door to talk to people about God obsolete? Probably not, but as our lives have gotten busier, you might have an easier time reaching people through Internet social networking sites such as Twitter, Myspace, and my personal favorite, Facebook.

I first heard of Facebook from my daughter back when it was still just for college students. I also heard of the horror stories caused for students who posted too much personal information or pictures of themselves that might cost them a future job if a prospective employer would happen to see the pictures.

Eventually Facebook opened up to anyone who wanted to make an account. I made one, but deleted it not long after that as no one else I knew was a member. Late last year, after Facebook membership exploded in the United States, I decided to opened another account. In time I found many of classmates from my old high school, and we've had a lot of fun getting reacquainted with each other. But I think the most amazing thing is how my church, St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Barberton, Ohio, has used this resource to reach people all over the world.

As activities and events happen at St. Nicholas, they are photographed and/or videotaped, and then posted to Facebook and YouTube (

With the click of the mouse, these items are shared all over the world. Many members of our eparchy have Facebook accounts and can see what we've been up to. Our priest and his family are from Slovakia and can easily send these events to family members and friends back home. But anyone on the Internet who happens to come across our website can also see these activities and what an active parish that we have, and possibly be persuaded to make a visit to our church.

As society as a whole changes, Christians need to adapt to reach people in these new formats. There will never be a replacement for talking to people face to face, as this is the most effective way to evangelize to others, but these electronic formats definitely have a place and use in these times to show others that the Holy Spirit is living at St. Nicholas Church.

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