Facebook expands Arizona church plant’s community connections

Facebook expands Arizona church plant’s community connections

Everyone craves connections — a truth Living Stone Community Church has embraced by using Facebook to minister to their community.

Facebook can be an important tool in getting to know neighbors and pointing them to Christ, said Ali Clayton, wife of church planter Whitney Clayton.

“We mainly use social media to get a pulse on our community,” she said. “People will put what they care about, what they’re going through, how they’re hurting on Facebook. So we’ve used it to connect personally to people.”

Sometimes Facebook opens up opportunities for ministry.

Her husband met a man in their area of Mesa, Arizona, and made it a point to add him as a friend on Facebook. Later he learned through Facebook that the man was going through some traumatic events — a death in the family and a car accident. 

The Claytons were able to take the family a meal and as Whitney helped the man process his grief, he was able to share the gospel on three different occasions. 

Church members have used neighborhood pages and interest-based clubs on Facebook, such as fitness groups or book clubs, to meet people. 

Ali joined a mom’s group through Facebook when her family first moved to the area three years ago. 

Building friendships

She built friendships during weekly gatherings while their children played together and became especially close to one of the women in the group. 

One day the woman told Ali her father had died and her son was asking questions about heaven that she wasn’t prepared to answer. 

Knowing Ali was a Christian she asked if she could attend church with her. 

The woman subsequently became a follower of Christ and has remained active in their church.

“Facebook can be used best when we have a posture of listening and hearing from the lost people in our lives,” Ali said.

Don’t just listen and be a “passive observer,” she counseled. If someone is struggling, reach out and offer Christ’s love to the person in need. (BP)

How to Pray:

  • Pray for the Claytons to rely on God’s strength as they open their home to community members.
  • Pray for strong relationships to grow out of social media connections the Claytons make.