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When God Says Move Your Tents

Many of my friends are asking about the topic “move your tents” and it’s a great discussion! Let’s go back to Genesis when Abram moved his tents

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord. Genesis 13:14–18 (NIV).

Let’s go forward today. Several discussions are happening about the new advertising policy and pressure from a social media site to change our ministry name, or to be hidden as offensive content. In a live teleconference on January 21, 2019  I heard the CEO of this social media site say “If you post something that is generally wrong we’re not going to block that, we’re just not going to show it.”

When I started my online ministry 10 years ago it never occurred to me a gathering place for women would be considered “generally wrong” and banned. At my church we have mens groups, Mother of Preschoolers (MOPS), and womens Bible study. We also have coed groups with both men and women participating.

Today, in order to advertise our Bible studies on the social media platform our ministry needs to become genderless. So I’ve been fasting and praying and feel the Lord is saying “move your tents.” It took 10 years to build a online community centered around womens Bible study.

My page reach for Womens Bible Cafe™ dropped dramatically last year so I created a new page without a gender name. They did not shut down my page, they only showed the page to people who intentionally looked for it. #shadowbanning

Next I tried to boost a post from my new page to move my audience and learned the word “women” violates advertising standards. I made seven different appeals to merge the pages or to remove the word “women” from my large page, appeals denied. My appeals (phone calls and emails) were recorded by the social media site for their legal purposes.

Yes, the next threat will be the word “Bible” so I am building my author page more than my ministry page. My author page is in my name only, under the “public figure” category. This category seems to get a better reach than nonprofit organization category or religious organization category. I post with the same frequency and engage with the audience equally on my pages. This one…without a gender word or a religious word…is reaching more people.

My writing community is currently discussing book titles and how to advertise a book with gender words. One friend had her page shut down because of the offensive gender word “husband” which is also in her book title “How to Bless Your Husband.” She told me was not allowed to promote her new book on this social site. In December we lead a study for the book “Women of Christmas” by Liz Curtis Higgs and our posts for the study were hidden. #shadowbanned

Another page has the word “wife” in the page name and URL. This is what she posted: We’re so honored that hundreds of thousands of you are stepping up to invest in your MARRIAGE. So, for a limited time only we’re layering free shipping on top of all our sale prices for orders over $25. Get your marriage bundle today and draw closer to your spouse like you never thought possible. The social media site marked her as as political content and blocked her ad.

When I tried to post an ad in January 2019 to move my audience to new page this social site required me to review and accept their new genderless terms before allowing me to advertise again.

Keep in mind I do understand why this social media site has their new policy after a lawsuit from the ACLU. They are protecting their interests, seeking not to offend, and inclusive. Those are good reasons for the new policy as change is implemented. But they did not allow us to merge our existing page of 88,000 followers and will not allow us to advertise to our former page followers to let them know we’ve moved. #ouch 

My intent in posting this is article is to provide enough content so you’ll understand why our ministry name on social media is moving from Womens Bible Cafe™ and Mens Bible Cafe™ to Bible Cafe™

The heart of our ministry is unchanged.

We’re still an inclusive non denominational Christian Bible study, a parachurch (Parachurch organizations are Christian faith-based organizations that usually carry out their mission independent of church oversight. Most parachurch organizations, at least those normally called parachurch, are Protestant and Evangelical: wiki).

Living in Babylon…. and moving our tents for a #revival movement!

feature image source: Bigstock