Saturday, September 01, 2007

They spun a web for me


The Hyves Internet community has 4 million members in the Netherlands (on a total population of 16 million people) and is now bigger than Google in our language area... Hyvers - mostly teens and young adults - are building their very own miniature universe for social networking and friendly interaction. I think you can compare this to the international successes of MySpace, MSN Faces, Facebook and other popular social networking sites. The blogspot you are now reading is my home base on the Internet, but I do post pics, texts and video clips elsewhere too. (See my other blogs in the sidebar of this blog.)
Why do I blog in English and why am I so active in cyberspace? Because man was made to communicate* and Christians are called to participate! The www is the place to be if we want to share our faith in a friendly, accessible, non-intrusive way.
Many children, teens and young adults have their own pages on Hyves and it is exciting to see how actively involved young Christians are. Many hyvers are very open about their personal faith and lots of churches and youth groups have opened their own hyve (such as this one from our baptist church in Hoofddorp). Young Christians also build their own communities on the Internet, sometimes these social networking sites are open to the public, sometimes you need to become a member first in order to join the discussion.
Jesus told us to go into all the world and proclaim the good news to all creations. Just think about this question: What is your mission field today? I think that the Internet is a great place to be salt and light - although it can't be an alternative for one-on-one interaction, personal dialogue and true fellowship in real life.
My contributions to the Hyves pages are mainly in Dutch, but if you go to this site you can have a look at my YouTube video compilation and you can see how we can use the rock idols of our days to point people to the Rock of our salvation. Scroll down to the bottom of your screen (on my Hyves page, I mean), click on 'replay' if the video clips don't start instantly, and look at the story that I want to tell by sharing these music video clips in this particular order (top to bottom). And - please don't get me wrong - I am not only using these music video clips - I am really enjoying them too! I also think that we shouldn't 'use' the Internet as a place where we can impose our views and beliefs on other people, that will only be counter-productive and bad PR for Jesus. But we need to be there, share our faith, be honest, outspoken and accountable and become reliable friends - both on the Internet and in real life. What do you think? Give me a shout.
PS 'They spun a web for me' is an intriguing line from the Coldplay song Trouble, the first clip from my video compilation on my Hyves page...

* Man was most of all made to know and worship God. Nothing else will satisfy the longing soul. Click!

6 comments:

Mike said...

Paul,

Considering the population that is a very large participation.

Get out there and share. ;)

Paul said...

@ Mike: "Go and do likewise" - in your own language, of course!
Thanks, bro.

Conny Vos said...

Nu nog een kerk op Second Life... Grapje; altijd als ik jouw blog lees, denk ik: Ik moet ook meer getuigen van mijn geloof. Maar ik ben nog wat (te) voorzichtig.

Paul said...

@ Conny, you mentioned the idea of having a church in second life. Well, they already exist, both protestant and Roman Catholic!
I am not a Second Life member myself, but the most innovative church is
www.lifechurch.com / www.lifechurch.tv

List of the most innovative churches in the USA
http://outreachmagazine.com/
Library/features/documents/
thelist1.pdf

Check it out! (Cut & paste these three parts in your URL as one address line!)

Paul said...

http://www.lifechurch.tv/
secondlife/why.php

(cut & paste as one line!)

From this page:

Why in Second Life?
We developed "Experience Island" as an effort to share God's truth and love with the rapidly growing number of Second Life users. We desire to engage people right where they are (physically or virtually), and Second Life represents a new frontier in that effort. Because the Second Life environment uses avatars, people are able to remain relatively anonymous. We find that this creates a less-threating environment where people are much more willing to explore and discuss spiritual things.

Conny Vos said...

Dank je wel voor je verwijzingen. Ik had het nog niet eerder gezien. Ik vind het geweldig dat iemand in deze nieuwe ontwikkelingen tijd en geld investeert als tegenhanger van al het verkeerde op Secondlife. Hopelijk maken mensen op deze laagdrempelige, anonieme manier kennis met het geloof en zoeken ze daarna een echte kerkgemeenschap.