The 'Media Fast', at Cornerstone, is a time for us to ‘fast’ [as the name suggests] from social media, and, instead, to feast on God’s word.
As a church, we put down our consoles, smartphones and tablets; we stop tweeting, liking and sharing, for a whole five days. Instead we pick up our Bibles and feast together on God’s word and around the table. We meet together in the evenings, in various homes, to have a simple meal, to pray, and to read the Bible together.
What’s the point?
Every year, in the first week of February, we stop using devices and accounts that, whilst being a real blessing when used properly, can also, sadly, become a major distraction from our meditation on God's word, and can, at worst, be just be a waste of time.
Not using ‘technology’ for five days may seem like a hard task, especially today, when we regard it as essential to our daily lives. But when we replace it with scripture and being together as a church, we come out feeling refreshed in our faith, and stronger in our relationships with our church family. This time of media fasting also offers us the opportunity to serve our church, either by hosting a meal or helping to refresh our main premises, the Hub.
It is obviously recognised that many people need to use the internet for work, and most of us need to use our phones to contact each other. These reasons are justifiably important and not the focus of the fast.
The aim of the week is to free us from the ‘unnecessary' media that take up our time, such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, radio, Youtube, TV (Netflix, etc), console and smartphone gaming.
How will we fill all that extra time?
Well, mainly we can use this time to focus on a particular book of the Bible and to pray. For example, in previous years we have read through the book of Acts, the gospel of Luke and the Psalms together. There will be group breakfast, lunchtime and dinnertime meet-ups to do this together with others.
You could also read other books in the Bible that you haven’t had a chance to really study yet. Or you could listen to sermons, Christian podcasts, or read our recommended book for the week ‘Enjoying God’, and other Christian books. You could try to memorise verses that have meant something to you in your reading.
You may even find that this week turns out to be one of the busiest of your lives - which further shows how much we waste time on social media!
At the end of the week we will ‘break the fast’ by meeting as a whole church and giving thanks for the week.
It really is one of the best weeks in our church calendar. The Lord has really used it to grow Cornerstone over the years, and we pray that this year is the same.
‘Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.’ (Acts 2:46)
As a church, we will be doing just that, meeting together and feasting with glad hearts.