Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently spoke at a Facebook Community Summit, and laid out an ambitious vision for his social networking platform. Essentially, he wants Facebook to be a place where people come together to establish real community, accomplish great things together and let leaders emerge who can influence followers to impact culture and society.
And he cited an interesting example: church.
He explained, “People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity—not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community.”
He continued: “A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter … Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”
Essentially, his vision is to get users plugged into communities—curated by the Facebook algorithm—to accomplish good together: “We started a project to see if we could get better at suggesting groups that will be meaningful to you. We started building artificial intelligence to do this. And it works. In the first six months, we helped 50 percent more people join meaningful communities.”
Earlier this year, Zuckerberg met with a group of pastors who are “helping their congregations find deeper meaning in a changing world.” In a post, he said the meeting was enlightening: “[It] helped me understand just how important community is, and how we’re all just looking for something we can trust. We may come from different backgrounds, but we all want to find purpose and authenticity in something bigger than ourselves.”
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.