Words over the internet travel faster than the speed of light at 299,792,458 meters per second. Your daily post reaches an average of 100 to 1000 people, or if gone viral, can reach millions.
Together, imagine how many people this tool could potentially reach for Christ. It’s obvious; we need to speak up! Knowing this, what could social media do for the church? In a world of fake news and the darkness of possibilities that lingers over the internet, we are called to be the light.
I know, I know… being “social” is exciting. I personally run over thirty Christian social media accounts, and absolutely love the possibilities it brings. Utilizing the creativity of God to help reach the unchurched is my daily catalyst.
In this same virtual world, I sometimes want to ask people, “would you actually say that to someone’s face, or better yet, Jesus?” It’s sad when you see more criticism coming from “Christians” than unbelievers. Accountability and conversation is great, but when someone is obviously looking for a fight, it may be time to take it to Christ to see why something may be offensive to you. Instead of commenting on something judgmental, let’s all send out messages that edify.
Before we get into three great ways believers should use social media, this verse gives a great focus for our goal of being the light through social media. Read it before each time you post something for everyone to see.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
3 Ways to Become a Light
1. Stop Just Posting Bible Verses
Yes, I said it. That’s our first instinct and the Word is one of our most powerful tools, but how is it bringing clarity and understanding to the motives behind the post? Think deeper. I’m not saying don’t post scripture, but why not add more substance? My pastor does a live video every day. Yes, every day, and it is such an encouragement to people’s daily walk. He has even gained a reach of over 2,000 people through his persistence. With a mixture of live applications, scripture, direction, and love this is something that truly has made an impact. If used as a template for your social platform, image how many we could all reach!
Be real with people, providing substance and deep explanation to your heart and purpose. Share your testimony!
2. Take Action in the Real World
Reflecting on the bigger picture, the internet is only a platform for communication and transactions. The real work happens in the real world. You can create campaigns, but action has to be taken.
Take action in the real world, then tweet about it, get people to retweet, and send the story to big agencies, such as Fox, CNN, or anyone that will share your story.
3. It’s Not About The Numbers
Quality over quantity. Instead of posting five Bible verses a day, share a live video or shareable graphic, and encourage engagement through your post. My friend posts a live video once a week, asking people to comment with a video of them reenacting a scene from their favorite movie, or to sing the lyrics to a funny song. In the post, he explains that one lucky person who responds will be sent a bag of candy. Isn’t that something you would look forward to seeing on social? He is a true light and is encouraging others in who they are.
Be original and tap into God’s creativity for quality content. Don’t get discouraged if your idea doesn’t work at first, but persist. It may take people time to catch on to what you are doing, but even if it just impacts one, isn’t that enough?
John 13:35 states, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Now, I have a challenge for all of you. Encourage your friends, family, and church to use #BeALightChallenge to tweet or post words of encouragement to people’s walls, including to people they don’t even know. Let’s be a light and love one another as social neighbors, like we are commanded. Just one person may impact one, but together we can impact thousands!