A well-known pastor has responded to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent proclamation that the social network could one day take the place of churches and little league teams, alike.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas in Dallas, Texas, told Fox News on Friday that he doesn’t believe technology will ever replace the Christian church, seemingly going as far as to laugh at the suggestion.
“I believe that technology can certainly enhance the ministry of the church. In the last 18 months we’ve had 500,00 people from 192 countries participate in our internet worship services,” Jeffress told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “Technology can enhance ministry of the church, but it will never replace the church.”
The pastor went on to say that, “God created the church” and Zuckerberg created Facebook” and that, if he had to guess, he’d say that God and the church will be around “a lot longer than Zuckerberg and Facebook are.”
MacCullum noted, though, that the rise of the “nones” — those unaffiliated with faith — and the large share of young people saying they fall into this category could mean that Zuckerberg is potentially on to something with his claim that Facebook could one day replace church communities.
While Jeffress said that he believes human beings were, indeed, made to form communities, he sees limitations when it comes to fulfilling that need through technology.
“God created us where we need human touch. We need community, and that’s why God designed the family and he designed the church,” he said. “But that need for human companionship will never be satisfied by curling up with your laptop.”
Watch Jeffress discuss these issues below:
As Faithwire previously reported, Zuckerberg made his comments about churches and community during a recent rally in Chicago. He discussed membership declines that have unfolded in various groups and clubs and proceeded to say that he sees Facebook as potentially being able to fill the void. Zuckerberg specifically discussed Facebook’s quest to help people join online communities.
“People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity — not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community,” he said. “A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter. A Little League team has a coach who motivates the kids and helps them hit better. Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”