Selfie Sunday: How a Divided Congregation Reunited

Selfie Sunday: How a Divided Congregation Reunited

September 29, 2014 by

Four years ago, our sanctuary burned down, forcing our congregation to split and worship in two separate spaces across town. One for traditional services and the other for contemporary worship.

Recently, we opened a new and long-anticipated worship space. Finally, our diaspora congregation was reunited.

We took to social media to help foster togetherness as the church joined together once again.

“Instead of thinking of technology as a gimmick, use it as a way to commemorate the great things God has done.”

The pastor ended the first service in the new building early and dismissed the people to explore the facility. He had one request. He asked folks to take a selfie in the new building and post it to social media with the hashtag #iamfirsttemple.

Will Our Split Congregation Reconnect With a Hashtag?


A church deacon and youth posing together as pirates.

When I floated this idea in our staff meeting, I wasn’t sure how it would go.

One of our worship services is primarily young families and young adults. The other is mostly people over the age of 50. The younger congregation developed after the fire and hardly knew the people who had been at the church pre-fire.

I knew the younger crowd would jump on board and take selfies. I assumed the older ones wouldn’t.

But something remarkable happened. Something that shouted “we are the body!”


Worship leader Nick Arbuckle and Evan Duncan doing their best duck faces.

The Power of a Selfie

Those younger folks indeed took selfies all over. But they also threw their arms around the older people and posed alongside them. Grandkids taught grandparents how to tweet silly pictures of themselves. I found myself teaching a line of people in our new church common area how to use a hashtag.

It was natural for us to be concerned about unity in the new building. We were putting two different congregations under the same roof. Men in suits passed other men in flip flops. The organ had to be moved back stage and the amps rolled out between services.

Change often breeds conflict. But the people connected, crossed boundaries and rejoiced in having a church home with selfies.

Raise a Monument to What God Has Done

It was a silly exercise, but it meant so much to our church. It was a joyous celebration. When God did something wonderful for Israel they raised a stone to remember it. This monument reminded all what the Lord had done.

Do we embrace this practice today? Technology gives room for all kinds of these monuments to be seen by people across the globe.

Instead of thinking of technology as a gimmick, requirement or distraction, use it as a way to commemorate the great things God has done. There is no better marketing strategy then making monuments for the works of God.

Post By:

Evan Duncan

Evan Duncan is a master of divinity student at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and he currently serves as media and communications director at First Baptist Church in Temple, Texas. You can read more of his work at or follow him on Twitter.
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One Response to “Selfie Sunday: How a Divided Congregation Reunited”

  • Bruce Herwig
    September 30, 2014

    Selfie Sundays are a great idea! Our church did one as part of our David Platt “Follow Me” Campaign. It let people show that they were participating in the Follow Me study in a fun way.

    To help encourage participation we offered prizes for the top three selfies and had our high schoolers available to help people work their camera phones. We also had a special email ( ) so people could send us their photo or they could use the #TrinityFollowMe hashtag on Facebook or Instagram.

    You can read more about our campaign here:

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