[ACNS] The Archbishop of Canterbury was joined by thousands of Christians around the world today for his first live Bible study on Facebook. Archbishop Justin Welby discussed John 1:35-42 with the Revd Chris Russell, the archbishop's advisor for evengalism and witness, and answered questions from viewers.
The event was watched live in countries including the UK, USA, South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Australia, the Seychelles and Japan. It is still available to view on Facebook as a video.
In the passage, the disciples have their first encounter with Jesus, which is a life-changing experience – they are given a new identity in Jesus Christ. During the discussion the Archbishop answered questions posted on Facebook, including one on how relevant this encounter with Jesus is to the lives of young people today.
At the end of the broadcast, Archbishop Justin encouraged people to read the Bible with their Christian friends and relatives. “You can spend ten minutes finding how each other is, ten minutes looking at a passage of the Bible – asking very simply ‘What does it say? What does it mean? What are we going to do about it?’ – and ten minutes praying together. It’s a really good way of spending time together.”
The Archbishop has embraced live video on Facebook as a way of connecting directly with Anglicans and other Christians around the world. His first video – an Ash Wednesday service at Lambeth Palace in February this year – has been viewed by almost a million people.
Archbishop Welby has 114,000 followers on Facebook, with an audience that reflects the global nature of the Anglican Communion. For example, many Anglicans in Pakistan, Nigeria and Uganda follow the Archbishop on Facebook and engage with his posts and videos.