We are living into a stressful age, and my mom often reminds me that we are not our best selves when we are stressed. Today, I humbly offer a prayer of confession for all the days and ways we have allowed the heat of social media controversy to fuel our frustrations and distract us from our true calling…
Jesus Christ, have mercy on us, for we are senders.
For in times of great stress, we have turned to social media to make salty our uncertain days. We are the senders, purveyors, and silent curators of ministry controversy, demonization, and dissent.
Forgive us, for we have sinned against our neighbor our fellow brothers and sisters who are also called by Your name:
For times we have secretly hoped for new controversy to entertain us on slow days;
For the times we have been overly grateful that others are struggling to figure things out;
For the times we posted a popcorn gif in excited anticipation instead of defusing a tense comment thread;
For the times we have knowingly posted in hopes of getting a reaction and not receiving wisdom;
For the times we have knowingly started posts with “I don’t mean to stir the pot” when we most definitely wanted to stir the pot;
For the times we mentioned Kanye because we were bored and hoping for a bite;
For the times we secretly got excited when an admin had to close comments because the threads were too heated;
For the times we have texted screenshots about the latest flare up and in-fighting to friends both in and outside of youth ministry;
For the times we have started new groups to talk about the shameful existence of other groups;
For the times we have lived distracted by endless notifications about ministry, and in doing so, have failed to do ministry;
For the times we started our days on Facebook and not in prayer.
We confess that we have not loved our brothers and sisters well.
We are guilty of falling into the snares of social media.
We have not been agents of Your will.
We have not heard the cry of the hurting.
We have replaced conversations with comment threads.
We have nourished ourselves on controversy and not compassion.
For the times that we have let comments replace conversations and social media substitute our need for small group and peer support, we pray.
This post was written by Zac Workun. Zac serves as the Student Ministry Training Specialist for Lifeway and is one of the co-founders of Youth Ministry Booster, Lifeway Students’ collaboration and training network. He has served the local church in various youth ministry roles for over 15 years.