Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Robbie Seay Band

  • Song of Hope by Robbie Seay Band +

    All things bright and beautiful You areAll things wise and wonderful You areIn my darkest night, You brighten up the Read More
  • Beautiful Scandalous Night -Robbie Seay +

    Go on up to the mountain of mercyTo the crimson perpetual tideKneel down on the shore Read More
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greenfield1The following is one of  a series of editorials in  the New  York Times about the relationship between religion/faith and Facebook.

Believers but Not Churchgoers

September 8, 2011

The Rev. Cheryl J. Sanders is the senior pastor of Third Street Church of God in Washington.

As a pastor, it is my responsibility to encourage participation in face-to-face meetings at the church each week for worship, prayer and Bible study.

While I cannot foresee a time when virtual contact will take the place of direct human contact, in my experience social networking enables additional conversations, interactions and sharing of information that reinforce the sense of community at every level of our lives. Our church has a Facebook group, and I include church members as friends on my personal Facebook page. Some of my most frequent Facebook posts come from members who are very quiet (or absent) when the church gathers for worship, but who readily speak up online to share their opinions, photos and links to news about religion, politics and popular culture.

Online communities are a tool for reaching a generation whose personal priorities do not include church attendance but who spend hours each day online.

Social networking works wonders for the instantaneous sharing of information of importance to church members, such as invitations to special events, solicitations of prayers for members and friends in crisis, and the sharing of suggestions for worship at home when church services are canceled because of inclement weather.

While social networking does not replace human contact, it provides opportunities for virtual participation in religious community by members who cannot attend church because of work, illness or relocation and by students who are away at college. Moreover, it is a tool for reaching a generation whose personal priorities do not include church attendance but who spend hours each day online. Jesus called fishermen who were experienced at working nets full of fish to follow Him and become "fishers of men." It is my hope that the work of calling people to faith in this century will be vigorously embraced by a virtual community of disciples whose skills in social networking are employed not just for self-absorbed amusement, but also for the care of human souls.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/09/08/will-online-faith-communities-replace-churches/believers-who-are-not-churchgoers

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • The Cleansing of the Temple by RC Sproul +

    http://www.ligonier.org/account/dashboard/sermon/151/download/ In this incident of Jesus cleansing the temple, Dr. Sproul points out that the activities being performed were legitimate, Read More
  • The Prodigals by Kevin DeYoung +

    During the Gospel Coalition conference in 2013, Kevin DeYoung gave a thoughtful, spirit-led sermon on Luke 15. He was able Read More
  • Centered on one or the other by Ray Ortlund +

    ". . . a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" Luke 7:34 What does it mean for a church to be gospel-centered? That's Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Book of God, Walter Wangerin +

    I was in a leadership turbogroup during the spring of 2007. At Randy's suggestion, I listened to Walter Wangerin's audio Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Clay Enoch Devotional Sculpture +

    Clay Enoch, a sculptor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, creates powerful bronze sculptures with Biblical themes: Creation, Praise, Contrition, Still Water, Read More
  • Without Faith...Can I Survive? +

    Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ Read More
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