Church of the Highlands Pastor Chris Hodges Says Social Media Is a Distraction He May Quit
Despite using social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to connect with thousands of followers, Chris Hodges, founding and senior pastor of the 38,000-member Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, says he may soon quit social media because it has become a distraction.
"I am in the process of actually trying to see how much I can get off of my phone right now," Hodges said on the Vanderbloemen Leadership podcast Tuesday.
"In fact, I am actually considering getting off all social media," he added. "It has become one of the biggest distractions."
Hodges noted that while he is struggling with the distraction that comes with social media, he is also aware of their power to do good and market things like his latest book The Daniel Dilemma: How to Stand Firm and Love Well in a Culture of Compromise.
"I know how powerful it can be in marketing and things like that," Hodges said. "But man, boy, it can be so distracting to me, so I'm actually putting that before the Lord right now, about how much of that actually needs to be in my life, and seriously considering making it where it's basically just a phone and that's about it."
Hodges made the comments while discussing his new book on the podcast and explained that it was inspired by public reaction to a series he taught in 2013 on the book of Daniel in the Bible.
"We had uncovered the fact that Christians were ill-equipped in the daily dilemmas they have facing culture. And so they are trying to figure out how to balance 'and I really want to please God but I really wanna try to have some impact in my culture at the same time how do I do it?' And so we wrote this book to be a playbook for Christians to use on how to stand firm and love well in our culture," he said.
"In Christianity, we basically have two extremes. We have this group [that says] I'm right and they can prove to you how they're right but God never called us to be right, He called us to be effective. You have this whole group, they'll be happy to argue Scripture with you any day of the week and prove to you how you're wrong and they really teach Christians basically to take that stance but that's not very effective at all," he explained. "You can win an argument and lose someone's heart."
He then discussed another group of Christians who are willing to set the Bible aside "in the name of love."
"In many cases thinking they love people more than God does. A loving God would never ask you to give up that or call that sin. When really the most loving thing our God does is call us out of our sins. And so there's a way to do just like Daniel did and in a way just like Jesus did to be a person that has the perfect balance of grace and truth," Hodges stated.
On Wednesday, he encouraged his followers on Instagram to enter a competition to win a copy of the book.
"My publisher @nelsonbooks is doing a GIVEAWAY for my new book #TheDanielDilemma. You can get some exclusive book merchandise including a mug, t-shirt, and a copy of THE DANIEL DILEMMA with an accompanying journal. These items aren't available anywhere else, so this is your one chance to get them!" he said.