05 March, 2009

Man Changing World One Facebook Group at a Time

Peoria, Illinois - "I'm part of the solution now," says Peter Cardwell as he proudly opens up his Facebook profile. At just 31 years old, Cardwell is determined to make a real impact for the Kingdom through the use of Facebook groups and causes. From his mother's basement in Peoria, Cardwell rises each morning about 11:00 and spends 12 to 14 hours per day on what he calls his "mission field."

"I started doing this about 2 years ago after I lost my job at Subway," said Cardwell. "I started this group called 'Just Because I Lost My Job, I'm Not Losing Faith' and about 9 people joined, so I began thinking this could really take off in a big way."

After that Cardwell began spending more and more time on Facebook, each day starting new groups and causes, making more friends and inviting people to join his "missionary" endeavors. He now administrates over 4000 groups and has started over 6000 causes. Some examples of his groups include:

The Former Christian Employees of Subway Network - 3 members
Let's Finally Overturn Roe vs. Wade - 6 members
Christians United Against Hugo Chavez - 2 members
Let Your Kids Join Facebook this Sunday, They Need and Deserve It! - 4 members
Believers Who Want to Leave Britney Alone - 75 members

Since he started spending more and more hours on Facebook each day Cardwell has dropped out of church, choosing rather to sacrifice his Sundays in order to spread the gospel.

"I did go to church occasionally before all of this got started, but I really believe that this is my true calling in life" he said. "There's a lot of hurting people out there on Facebook who are looking for a group to plug into. I don't really care if each group doesn't get that big. It's not about numbers."

Cardwell is currently being supported by his 59-year-old mother, Patricia Cardwell, and says that he has no plans to go back to work in the "secular world" anytime soon.

"I'm devoted to this. This is my calling, and I have no plans to quit. You wouldn't up and ask a missionary to Africa to quit what he's doing and come back home to work at McDonald's would you? It's hard work sitting here all day for hours on end with nothing but pizza, fried chicken, Oreos, potato chips and Dr. Pepper to keep me going, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice."


John Dekker said...

He now administrates over 4000 groups

Unfortunately, Facebook only lets you join 298 groups.

Unknown said...

Yes, but that's only under one user name. If you have multiple user accounts you can join more!

Anonymous said...

I am soooooo reactivating my facebook account...

really, I hope he'll find me

Anonymous said...

Caution: When I aim my Tragedy Meter at this photo, the needle slams the right hand post way hard. The two hotspots are the guy and his gear (the paneling is deep into the amber too, though.

I think you need to be careful putting stuff like this online.

Call to Die said...

Hey, I know that guy! He's a Pectator!

Anonymous said...

ajfin, some things cannot be un-seen. I clicked your Pectator link and the first picture just fried my Tragedy Meter. We're talkin' smokin' plas.

That first pic of the two guys was so... so intimidating. I'm not half the man they are (probably not even a quarter).

Darrin said...

I think I used to work with that guy. (Not at Subway - he's definitely an engineer.)

Very funny post.

There's virtually no limit to the dreams we can attain in our cyber-efforts. I've sometimes thought about unplugging and actually ministering to visible people, and, um ... never mind, dumb thought.

When I started talking to real people I kept trying to smile with my head sideways.

JCCares4U said...

Where is the share on Facebook link for this?...I think it will make a difference to post this. I really do...

Jim Pemberton said...

That IBM belongs in a museum. The keyboard is good, though. I'm typing on one identical to that right now - seriously. Much better than the soft key trash they make these days.

But with dialup and that computer, he must spend the majority of his time waiting for pages to load. He could get a job, make enough money for a better computer with a broadband connection and spend only a couple of hours in the evening doing what it's taking him all day to do, plus be able to go to church Sunday morning and evening as well as Wednesday evening.

Ostensibly, that's what he wants isn't it?

Mexico 2008 said...

Actually, Facebook is honestly a great way to witness to people that you know. Whether its using the chatting feature, messaging someone, or writing on someone's Wall, it really is a great way to spread the Gospel.

You can message your Friends something like this "Hey, I heard this (free) sermon before and found it very challenging (specifically because I called myself a Christian). I think it's very important stuff and have sent the link to a lot of people. You should listen to it! Let me know what you think... http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5220621750 (you can download the mp3, etc. and if it asks for your email, if you want, you can click "Later")"

It can be a great way to reach out to people that you don't know that well, but are still on your Friends list.

Jim Pemberton said...

I'm imagining church planting like this:

You go down the phone numbers in the phone book and ask whoever answers if they want to start their own church. You explain that there's no obligation and no financial responsibility for doing so. There are no requirements for anyone joining the church and no doctrinal positions anyone needs to hold. In fact, anyone can join as many of these new church plants as they want and you'll be the first to join the church of the person you called. So you quit going to your old church, stay at home claiming great success in planting hundreds of new churches in your town.

(Nothing against house churches, but this sort of thinking without correction could be one drawback to the house church movement.)