A Return to Social Media

"A light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5) Join us as we share our thoughts around Southview's return to social media and enter the season of Advent with anticipation.

Just over two years ago we stepped away from our social media platforms indefinitely.  At the time we wrestled with the practice of contributing to the already noisy landscape of social media with what amounted to “little more than billboards in your feed” and the belief that the sanctity of your attention deserves better than that.  We also wrestled with what it means for the church to silently and passively participate on platforms that monetize our attention and compel us to “just keep scrolling.” 

And to be honest, we still wrestle with these things.  Even as I type this, I think back to the Henri Nouwen quote (written 30 years ago) that began our last social media post: 

"Over the last few decades we have been inundated by a torrent of words. Wherever we go we are surrounded by words: words softly whispered, loudly proclaimed, or angrily screamed; words spoken, recited, or sung; words on records, in books, on walls, or in the sky; words in many sounds, many colors, or many forms; words to be heard, read, seen, or glanced at; words which flicker off and on, move slowly, dance, jump, or wiggle. Words, words, words! They form the floor, the walls, and the ceiling of our existence."

The thinking behind most church social media strategies has long been that social media is a way for the church to come to you rather than always asking you to come to the church.  That is a great philosophy that in many ways is true, but so to are the concerns about social media listed above (and many others that weren’t); this is the tension we have wrestled with over the last two years.

And yet, over the last several months we have seen the decentralizing of the physical church building in the life of the community of faith.  More of you are joining us online than we can accommodate on a weekend.  Most of our regular ministries have moved to some variation of online or online-hybrid.  The need for us to continue to find more spaces to meet and connect is great.  And the opportunities to explore different expressions of discipleship are many. 

As we step into the season of Advent, and look with expectancy towards Christmas and all it signifies, now feels like a good time to meet you all again in the social media space… beginning with Instagram.

Our social media hiatus has given us a chance to reflect on who we as Southview want to be in this space. 

We want to be a reprieve from the noise.   

We seek to be a source of encouragement: to builds up and empower.  We seek to create a space for all of us to feel the connection and belonging of the Body of Christ in whatever ways it can healthily be translated across the distance.  

We desire to be a place of refuge, a breath for aching lungs.  

Our hope is that our presence here invites a place for each of you to pause, rest, and reflect. 

If ever you find us in your feed or stories, may it be for you an encouragement to turn towards God amidst the busyness and uncertainty of your day, and seek peace.  We welcome your engagement and feedback as we begin to navigate these social media waters once again.  In many ways this will be a process of exploration for us and we hope, if it’s meaningful and beneficial for you, that you will join us. 

Our prayer for each of you, our Southview family, is that you would be ever turned toward the light, and that as this tumultuous year draws to a slow close, you would find rest in the eternal Light of the world. 


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