Book review: “Will You Be My Facebook Friend: Social Media And The Gospel” by Tim Chester

[amazon_link id=”1906173834″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Will you be my Facebook Friend?[/amazon_link]I first came across Facebook when I was working with International Students for the Heath Evangelical Church. It was 2007. The network was still quite young, but growing fast. I had been told that I needed to maintain a presence if I wanted to reach studenTs out, because they spent a lot of time on Facebook. I created a profile and hardly ever used it for a while. I started using it a bit more a few years later. It is now part of my daily routine.

“Will You Be My Facebook Friend” is a small book with only 48 pages. Unlike “You, Your Family and the Internet”, which was aimed at people with little understanding of the Internet, it was written to people who use social networking websites. It highlights the positives sides of social networking, but also draws attention to their negative effects. Through searching questions, Tim Chester invites us to think through our use of social networking sites. For those of us who may be spending too much time working on our online profile, he doesn’t content himself with telling us to use the network less. He goes much deeper and shows that idolatry is really at the heart of the use many make of social networking websites. He then brings us back to the heart of the gospel, the cross, in order to give the right motivation to use Social Networking sites in a more Godly Way.

I found this little book helpful and challenging. Why not buy a few copies for your young and not so young people?

Newsletter frustrations

As a missionary, we regularly send newsletters to provide fuel for people’s prayer and remind our supporters of our existence. Email is a great help. It is fast an cheap. But it seems that many people either don’t receive them or just don’t read their mails. At least, when we used to send proper letters, there were good chances were that peopIe opened them.

I use Mailchimp for convenience, and thanks to it’s tools, I know exactly who has opened our newsletters. Last week, I sent a newsletter to 280 people. Three messages bounced back, 132 were opened and presumably read, and 145 remain unopened. That’s 51.8%. I suspect that some have changed address and haven’t told us. Most don’t bother checking their spam filter from time to time. The rest probably delete it without opening. I’d love to know. I could send a separate email to the 145 people who haven’t opened the latest newsletter to know. But I won’t. Still, I am grateful to the 132 who have read it.

Rant finished.

Christmas and new year

The Christmas holiday has been quite relaxed and low-key. It rained almost non-stop for the first 10 days, and we hardly went out of the house. We spent Christmas day at home, and went for a walk in the afternoon. The kids were spoiled, with presents from family and friends.

We spent new years eve with brothers ans sisters from the church and welcomed the new year together.

One of the main activities of this holiday was to move the study to a bigger room. I am now sharing with Jean-Baptiste’s bedroom. It’s not ideal, but we hope it will work out fine for the time being. Maxime and Benjamin are now sharing a bedroom, where the study used to be.

The holiday is coming to an end and the children will go back to school on Monday.