MCCRORY, Ark. (BNc) — There can be no doubt that the internet is dominated by the social media world. It seems that everyone is Facebooking, Tweeting, and Pinning items of interest. And while the abundance of social media options offers some advantages, it can also cause some things–such as peaceful, loving church relations–to get lost in the mix.
That is why TheWayfellow.com was created. The website is a social news network for members of the church of Christ, according to Matt Clifton, who also publishes Bulletin Digest and Sermon Tree.
“We really envision a website where members of the church can gather to discuss, fellowship, and share news and announcements, joy and sadness, and generally experience a greater sense of connectedness,” Clifton said. “We are also working on a scholarship program that goes along with the site, so members will be able to tap into some educational help as well.”
Users of the new site can “friend” other users, “like” articles, post photos, and join groups based on their specific interests.
For instance, each state has a group to keep up with area news, and there are already groups for preachers, men, ladies, teens, and many others. Or users can create their own groups according to their interests. Additionally, they can post articles and announcements that appear on the front page of the site.
With Facebook-like features, one might wonder why such a website is needed. Clifton believes it is a worthwhile venture because the social media landscape is becoming more and more hostile toward Christians.
“In one sense, we certainly need to be making our presence as Christians felt in the world. But there is also the need for Christians to build one another up and strengthen one another, and that is sometimes hard to do on some social media sites,” he said. “Frequently we are overrun by posts that have an anti-Christian message, or posts that are simply immoral and unsavory. TheWayfellow.com will be a safe haven for brothers and sisters in Christ to relax and enjoy like-minded fellowship one with another.”
Plus, users will not be inundated with advertisements on their timeline. “We will be seeking sponsorships and advertisements in the future to help support the site and fund scholarships, but advertisements will not be forced into posts, and any ads will be from brotherhood-related businesses, schools, and events,” Clifton said.
Clifton also said TheWayfellow.com is not trying to replace other social media offerings, but rather supplement a specific need. In fact, users can sign up using their Facebook or Twitter accounts.
“We do insist on security, so please forgive us for the questions we ask upon signup,” he said. “The purpose for the questions is to ensure that each member is a Christian, and we think it will pay off in a peaceful and useful site in the long run.”
Because the website is tied to the creation of a scholarship program, and because it is difficult to verify identity of international users, currently the site is only available to citizens of the United States.
“Facebook is very useful for international connections, so we encourage international Christians to continue using that platform. We hope in the future we may be able to overcome some of the challenges of international membership, but for now we have to stay within the United States,” Clifton said.
Eligible candidates can sign up for free at TheWayfellow.com.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us