Friday, September 18, 2009

Are Social Networking Sites Propelling Christians to the Cutting Edge of Culture?

I wonder...

In the 80's and 90's Christians were notoriously lagging in cultural awareness, let alone leading cultural revolutions. Christian movies were poorly made, our fashion seemed inspired by the days of the covered wagon, and our music was so lame even Jesus couldn't heal it. And while our humor obviously hasn't evolved much since then, our cultural 'coolness' I think has.

Christians seem to be making a cool comeback. We are getting hipper, trendier, and moving more and more toward the cutting edge of culture. We love iphones, google, and hip-hop. But why is this? I suppose it is in part a response to all that under-achievement from before. Our greatest fear is being corny our 'out of it'. But I also wonder if social networking isn't a good friend of the cool Christian.

The reality is that Christians know a lot of other Christians. And so when word on a new innovation, song, restaurant idea, website, application, or anything else comes out...because we have a lot of twitter and facebook friends, word spreads fast. So rather than falling behind culture as we did for so many years, we are finally catching up. And I wonder, is it possible that in another 10-15 years if we might not actually start to lead?

I don't know if it will happen. Perhaps we have been in a cultural sprint over the last 10 years and our endurance will fade fast. But I for one hope that our engagement with social networking will become a catalyst for a whole new generation of 'cool Christians' that move to the front edge of culture creation and become the icons of cool to many. If so I will attribute responsibility for this revolution to the following places and in this order:

1. God
2. Facebook
3. Twitter
4. The Evangelical Covenant Church