Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

In Which I Acknowledge the Evangelism Potential of Facebook. . .

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 06 March 2009

Blogging is such a selfish venture in and of itself. As a Christian, I've struggled with the whole blogging thing. It is such a prideful endeavor, isn't it?

Being obedient to God's call on our lives in the context of blogging is not an easy thing. I'm always blessed to see someone call it out on their blog!

Facebook: An entirely different enterprise. Are you on Facebook? If yes. . . Do you ever have the sense that some of your Friends only befriend you so as to add your picture to their wall of 852 Friends?
Just asking?
I 'm grateful for each and every one of my Facebook Friends!

A few weeks ago, my friend Barbara suggested I create a Fan Page on Facebook for my blog. My first response was an e-mail explaining that I wasn't so much seeking fans as I was seeking to share my passion for God's Word and sound biblical doctrine and consistent theology which is so lacking in today's culture and blah blah blah. . . .

Fast Forward: As narcissistic as the idea first appeared, I did it. With Barbara's help, there is now an Esthermay Bentley-Goossen, Writer/Counselor Fan Page.
I prefer to think of it as a "Ministry Page."

Here's what has transpired since. . .
Company Girls: Wonderful testimony coming up here. You may want to set down your coffee. . . .

First. . . I've changed the format of my blog to a Q & A Format and will now be addressing topics posed to me via e-mail, comments and the Facebook Wall.
Thank you, Melissa . . . for providing the first question!

Second. . . When a Friend of a Friend on Facebook saw that her Friend had become a "fan" of Esthermay Bentley-Goossen, Writer/Counselor, she followed suit and also became a "fan." She then began an exchange with me which she describes as "a turning point" in her life . . .

She explains that she was immediately drawn to read the Inauguration Day Post, "Can a Born-Again Christian Support President Obama?" because she was hoping to find a bit of ammunition to convince her husband to agree with her on the topic. But. . . instead of enforcing (or frustrating) her own political ideology, the post led her to open up her own Bible and read for herself what God has to say about government, prayer, and Salvation.

The rest, as they say, is history.
My husband is now helping my newest Facebook Friend find a Bible-Preaching church in her area and we pray that she is able to get her entire family back into church on a regular basis.

I'm not usually one to yell out, "Praise the Lord," but. . . .
Praise the Lord!

Here's where my thinking has been over the last few days. . .

As Christians, how big is the responsibility to share and defend our Christian faith? If we maintain a blog, are we compelled to fulfill the great commission on that blog?

Do you have a Facebook account? If yes, are you using your Facebook account to share Christ? Do you know which of your Friends are Christians? Are you reaching out to those who aren't?
. . . think about that Newsfeed on Facebook where people see who's doing what and who's talking with whom and commenting on such & such. . . .
Does your contribution represent Christ?
Is it edifying?

There is great potential for evangelism on Facebook and Blogger and WordPress and TypePad. . .

Are we using it?
We don't necessarily have to be "preaching salvation" to share Christ.
We're not all John MacArthur! We have different gifts.
The question is: Do visitors to our blogs, our Facebook Profile, etc. see Christ when they visit?

Would my newest Facebook Friend have re-discovered Christ had she not seen that a mutual Facebook Friend was a "fan" of my blog? That's not a self aggrandizing question -- I do not know the answer. But the events of the last week do confirm to me that the WORLD Wide Web is indeed part of the world. . .

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel. . . . "
~ Mark 16:15

How are you using the Internet?

~ Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
© 2009 The Heart of a Pastor's Wife


Barbara said...

I am one to yell out Praise the Lord.

love ya!

lori said...

how funny huh? us on facebook...kinda weird and kinda cool all at the same time!:)

Funny thing, I accidently clicked on the Goosen grapevine and saw the Dec posting and realized I'm in the WRONG place...Esthermay would never NOT post for that long..thankfully!!:)

just stopping by to say HOLA and I'll catch you on facebook one of these days!!


and YES, I do tend to change things up WEEKLY on my blog...I'm a little OCD like that...neurotic if you prefer...it's just my way of having a bit of FUN!;)
LOL!! gotta take it where we can get it, right?!

Susan said...

Oh what a poweful testimony!!

I feel the same way Estermay. Letting Jesus be seen and known in ALL we do and say.

I think our blogs and facebook are wonderful avenues to share the hope we have.

We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Keep shinning♥

LauraLee Shaw said...

This is so great! I have been wanting to write a post just like this one. For the most part, that is ALL I DO on Facebook. INcredible potential there. That is also the purpose of my new blog. I'm tired of the you comment on my blog if I comment on your blog system (though I'm not putting anyone else down who does blogging just for fun). When it comes to ministry, we do have to do some promotion, but we must be intentional and smart about it, so I'm thankful to see a kindred sister here! Bless you, girl. I'll buy your books! I've been working with Pleasant Word with one of my 3 manuscripts, but I'm waiting for God's timing...it's GOT to be His, or otherwise I'm just tootin my own horn! Glad to see you got the go from Him! Blessings, sister!


Rachel Anne said...

Well, how cool is that??? God uses technology to reach people and I'm not surprised that people are drawn to your message.

How do I feel about blogging as a Christian? I've thought a lot about how much/how little I share my faith on my blog. I know that I am called to be an encourager, and my topic "home sanctuary" covers such a wide range of things...there is certain to be something there that someone will be encouraged by. I don't feel called to be a teacher (per se) of the Word, as in parsing Greek etc. but if I can show that the Word of God is relevant, real, warm, alive and vibrant by how we choose to live our lives each day, I'd be thrilled.

Kate said...

oh that is so cool! i don't do facebook, but have heard it's much "cleaner" than myspace.
I agree with Lauralee. I don't like the comment for comment thing that goes on with blogger. Blogging should be a ministry if you're a Christian in the same way our secular jobs become ministry when we allow Christ to be the middle of our life.

Denise said...

You are so right, inspiring post.

secondofwett said...

Well, I always hope that my blogging words tell others abt my faith but I must admit that I just go to Facebook to do the scrabble games w/others from my church!

Patricia said...

Love it! I've always had a problem with Myspace and Facebook being used to air every emotional up and down. There has to be more to it! God would not have opened the opportunity, if He didn't mean for us to use it.

Now, as I have taken on some new ventures, it's time to reevaluate how I use my blog and Facebook accounts. Thanks for the reality, Esthermay!

sara said...

great post! I do use my blog this way, but you made me rethink FB. I originally got on FB to keep up with my college daughter. In the process, I have found old friends and added others, but I really have only seen it as a "way to communicate" and keep in touch. I spend more time on my blog.....hmmmmmmmm.

Claudia said...

Very good questions to ponder. I have been wondering about my role on the internet. With so much information out there, it doesn't seem that what I have to say would matter to anyone, but when I look at my stats, I am still getting visitors even though I haven't posted for nearly 2 months.

May of my friends are on facebook - which always seemed like a kid's thing to me - and so far I have not joined them. You have given me much to consider.

The web has so much potential for good or evil - we must make sure we use it for good.

hvplace said...

Thanks for the reminder/challenge to use the internet for God's glory. I try to be an encouragement on Facebook but don't think I'm using it's full potential.

The part of this post that grabs my attention the most is

...that the WORLD Wide Web is indeed part of the world. . .

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel. . . . " ~ Mark 16:15

How are you using the Internet?

Thanks again! :o)

Luke said...

I freely admit: I love it whenever I get a new reader on one of my blogs or a new friend on Facebook. It certainly strokes my ego [smile]. And as happy as I am about having 852 friends, I'm thrilled when that becomes 853 [smile].

But you are right: Social media are a great way to interact with others. May Christ's love shine through me in everything I do.


Ohilda said...

Me, too! PRAISE THE LORD!!! :)

I do have a FB account, but am not too big into FB. I must be somewhat slow because I don't see the purpose behind it. As to my blog, I really try to honor God and bring him glory in all that I do over there. Although on some days, I go by the wayside and just become plain silly, like today. :)

Loved this post!

Laurie Ann said...

Sadly, I had to delete my facebook account. My past kind of caught up with me and it would have been ugly. I pray that my blog reaches people for Christ and is used for His glory always, though. :) And PRAISE THE LORD for her salvation!

Andrea said...

Thank you, thank you for being so honest. I'm a pastor's wife. I just started a blog, and I don't want everything to be all about me. I honestly want my blog to glorify God, while being inspirational for all who read. But I keep thinking "Isn't it prideful just to want to be heard or seen"? I told God that I would stop blogging anytime I began to get in the way. I enjoy it, but it's got to be more than a hobby or a vent or an attention getter. Thank you for bearing your soul. God bless you for your ministry.

LisaShaw said...

Your post reminds me of two Scriptures I hold very dear in my servanthood unto the Lord:

Colossians 3:23-24
1 Peter 3:15

God bless you.

Edie said...

I don't have a facebook account. I have twice started to set one up but I'm not comfortable with how much personal information they ask for to open an account. Not to mention the amount of time it could take. Ugh!

You have given me reason to pray about it. I just love your blog. I never say that but I really mean it.

Kris said...

hey EM...i just love reading your stuff...

so this is what you were talking about.



This is such an issue for many now. Blogging and Facebook really can become 'fan clubs'. One of our dear blogger friends just deleted her entire blog [for good] because she was spending all her time on the computer and had no time for her Bible study or prayer with her Lord. She was brave enough to recognize its hold over her and obey the Lord when He showed her it was a problem.

I have a relative who asked me to pray for her because she "was spending too much time on Facebook."

Another friend also deleted what she could from her Facebook account after she read the fine print on the page where you sign up. There were lots of things in it saying that FACEBOOK can and will use your info for any of their own purposes that they wish. Now you might say, "Well, Amen - let them speak about Jesus." But what if they take your info and instert it into a some other 'text' or place that you do not want it to go.

So many people have asked me to join FACEBOOK - but so far I will not do it. Just because I know my old way too much.

I am commited to my Blog - to writing there every other day - about God and His Word. I just want to share what God has put on my heart for that day - so it might help one person to trust God with their life or circumstance or whatever they may need - if they find their way there. God will bring who He wants to visit.

Yes, so many wonderful - thirsty Christians are sharing their thoughts - Scriptures and even their struggles with issues they face. This is one of those for me.

I truly ask the LORD every time I post - if this is what HE wants me to share that day.

I love all the dear women I have met through 'Blogland'. Some of them are praying for me and many of us are sharing our passion for Christ and His Word. I just want that to be our focus.

I am amazed at all the talented women whom God has raised up in this realm. As long as our motives remain pure and don't begin to invade that 'pride' area - I'm OK with it. [Please understand - I've stepped over that line a few times - and don't want to go there again.]

I guess the best solution for all of us is to keep checking our motives before the LORD each day!

Thank you for your blog and posts - this is my first time visiting you. I will be stopping by again!

Choosing JOY,

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