The video starts with a knock at the door and a woman, whom we assume is a mother, inviting some teens into the house and sending them upstairs. Quickly we learn that they are there to visit a friend who has broken his leg.

A stream of people come and go and each has some fun drawing on the young man’s full leg cast. Then the screen goes to a Facebook post about the broken leg and one comment that someone will “be right there.” The video ends with the line, “some friends you have to tag in person.” It’s a new ad from Facebook, the purveyor of online relationships, encouraging offline interaction. And it is quite poignant for us in the church.

As our culture wrestles with the tension between social media (all those online communities we have from Facebook to Instagram, Twitter and several others) and real life interaction, the church has not remained some bastion of personal, face-to-face, living life together. We know we crave it. We hear it preached about. But we still check in and out once a week and push off interaction to the digital realm, if we have relationships in the church at all.

Enter the newly minted Lead Pastor that lives online (that’s me by the way). Engagement with those I pastor is a high priority for me and to be efficient, most of it is handled via text message or a Facebook post. But how much am I missing out on by relying on media instead mono a mono.

Thankfully, one of our elders is a retired Navy chaplain whose spiritual gift is visitation and he pushes me to get out of the study, and off the computer to care for those I shepherd. So off we go, randomly stopping in to say hi and pray with members of the church. Planning regular coffee and conversation with the men of the church and liberally opening our homes. I still have a lot to learn, but I do know how much better it is to pastor in person. 

How might you include more personal interaction with those you care for each week? Who can help spur you on to more face time with the congregation?

Don’t stop interacting on social media, you can be a gospel voice to those that rarely hear one, but also purpose to meet with those in your care. Visit their home, have lunch at their office, go to their kids’ soccer games.

Some friends you have to pastor in person.