7villages in the UMC

Our conference has introduced the use of a web-tool called 7villages. It’s sort of like MySpace or Facebook for people who are trying to make a difference in the world. Our conference is one “village,” as is the United Methodist Church as a whole. I can see a lot of things this would have to offer for the United Methodist Church in Oklahoma. Perhaps we’ll be even more connectional. Maybe we’ll develop better networks of people with particular skills, passions, and gifts for ministry. Perhaps this will lead to easier recruitment, development, and deployment of Christian leaders. I hope so.

I hope that this doesn’t neglect the primary constituency of our denomination. Only 4.69% of elders are under the age of 35. Will the other 95% of elders make use of this system? What about the members who fall into that same over-35 category? It seems as though MySpace and Facebook are highly popular among teenagers, but not so much among 30-90 year olds. Maybe this whole effort will increase the interest of younger folks. Maybe this will be a tool that can develop near the leading edge of culture. I hope that it is.

Maybe youth groups, young adults, and SS classes can use this as a tool to create an online presence. Maybe pastors can develop deeper friendships while serving in remote rural communities. Maybe, just maybe, we can use this to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Come to think about it, I think I might just be excited about the possibilities…

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