Hashtags and Wholeness
This issue’s title originated during a phone conversation that a colleague and I had with a bishop of the Free Methodist Church, which has the vision “to bring wholeness to the world through healthy biblical communities of holy people multiplying disciples, leaders, groups and churches.” We decided the issue would include discussion of technology and the ways it can help us be “whole church” (the General Conference 2015 theme).
Before putting #whole on the cover, I searched social media for existing use of that hashtag. If you don’t know what a hashtag is, Merriam-Webster defines it as “a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text.” In several social networks, if you click on a hashtag, you will see other posts with the same hashtag.
I turned first to Twitter — the medium on which hashtags became popular. I found #whole referring to grain, personal fulfillment and a grocery store chain nicknamed Whole Paycheck. On Instagram and Pinterest, #whole usually accompanied food and beverage photos. A Facebook search repeatedly brought up a televangelist’s meme about healing for the whole body.
Many other mentions of #whole also discussed a person’s body or what a body should consume. Some dealt with having a whole mind. Few promoted a whole spirit. We need more emphasis — online and offline — on being “healthy biblical communities of holy people.”
That phrase also is a good description for Free Methodist colleges and universities. Each school offers liberal arts education that provides wholeness through instruction in multiple disciplines integrating faith and learning. Community happens in the classrooms, dorms, dining commons, gyms and chapel services.
Within these pages, don’t miss our higher education guide featuring these colleges and universities contributing to the church’s effort to multiply disciples and leaders.
- Feature: Social Influence in a Rapidly Changing World
- Bishops: Stop Preaching
- Action: Six Steps for Church Social Media
- Discipleship: First-Century Content/21st-Century Media
- Free Methodist Church News: GC15 Mission Teams Bless and Serve
- Free Methodist Church News: Brothers Embrace Gospel Music Roots