Editor's Note: This Q&A with Dr. Aaron Tabor is related to an in-depth article about his Jesus Daily Facebook page and website. Read it here: Texas Doctor Behind 'Jesus Daily' Facebook Page Says Christ 'Was Master of the Viral Message'; Lauds Network for Creating Longest 'Roman Road'
The Texas doctor and son of an Independent Baptist preacher who created one of Facebook's most-active fan pages dedicated to promoting Christian messages and encouraging the faithful worldwide has described his life as falling into two compartments: Jesus and drugs.
Aaron Tabor, 44, emphasized to CP when he noted that he divides his life between Jesus and drugs that he wasn't referencing the Jesus Movement and the experimental drug craze that marked the 1960s.
"The Jesus part is working through the digital media to spread the Gospel, and the drug part is through my nutrition, skin care, and drug development work," explained Tabor, who lives outside of Dallas.
He went on to described a motivational marker that he keeps in his office.
"I have a sign above my desk that says 'cure the world, save the world.' So a lot of my approach to spreading the Gospel is to try to minister to people physically and emotionally, as Christ did. As humans, we can't really separate...if we're in physical or emotional pain, we can't separate that from our spiritual nature long enough to consider a personal relationship with Jesus," said Tabor.
"Christ would often go and heal people or feed them and take care of their immediate physical need and that would prepare them to accept him as savior spiritually. So my hope is that through the development of the drugs and skin care and the better health, taking better care of our temples, that opens up doors for me to spread the Gospel that way. 'Cure the world, save the world," he added, "thus, Jesus and drugs."
If Tabor isn't focused on drugs — he's a gene therapy researcher "trying to develop gene-based drugs that help people with wound healing" — he's nurturing and growing the Jesus Daily Facebook page, home to more than 27 million followers, and counting.
Jesus Daily attracts tens of thousands of new followers every month from around the world, and they have consistently made the Facebook page, for years now, the most popular Church/Religious Organization page on the social network. Jesus Daily was supplemented with a website over the summer, and features much of the same usual fare that can be found on the Facebook page — cute cat and kiddy videos, inspiring stories, motivational memos, brief Bible passages, and illustrated invitations to follow Jesus, to let Jesus into your heart, or to make Jesus your king.
But his dedication to the brand is about encouraging Christians, said Tabor. He insisted that his main motivation with the viral content that is the bread and butter of the Jesus Daily trademark is to spread the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ.
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According to a self-described good friend of Tabor's who also helps provide brief Bible lessons for the Jesus Daily community, the unmarried doctor and middle child is the real deal.
"I know Aaron's heart for the Lord and I respect him greatly," Marilyn Adamson told CP. Adamson is director of the seeker-friendly Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) website, Every Student.
"I think Aaron, his motivation in building that page was to encourage believers in their faith and also to engage with people that have questions about Jesus. He's a very...Aaron's very, very smart and he's been very diligent and faithful to post things on the page. He's built it to the number of millions that are there because he's worked really hard at it," she added.
"He's also a doctor, an author, I don't know how the guy does so much," Adamson said, punctuating the remark with laughter. "He's an amazing person in his productivity and in his heart for the Lord. It's just impressive how humble he is and how focused he is on wanting people to know Jesus."
Tabor, who has kept the Jesus Daily page successful for the past five years, appears well attuned to the latest Facebook, social media, and digital trends.
During his interview with CP, the doctor revealed his plans to soon launch an online church — a website where anyone from around the world with the tech capabilities can log on and watch sermons from some of the "best teachers and preachers" in Christianity. As Tabor explained it, his goal was to help believers or seekers who live in restrictive societies or who have difficult schedules access Christian teachings on their own time. He also noted that there would be training.
"(We) Just hope to be able to encourage people and keep them discipled and eventually start training people to be home pastors and teachers as well [as provide access] in many areas of the world where it's dangerous to openly operate a church or too expensive to build one," Tabor explained.
"So we don't plan to have a specific church building, but we do want to bring in the best teachers and preachers in the world to encourage people in their faith and encourage them to go out and do more of what Christ told us to do, and to love like Jesus," he added.
Tabor, who has Facebook pages for his businesses as well as a personal account, shared with CP a few details about his life not shared in previous interviews. He also gave a special message for the 27 million followers linked into the Jesus Daily Facebook, most of whom live in the United States and the Philippines.
In the transcript below, Dr. Tabor answers questions about his faith and family and shares observations about what he thinks make Jesus Daily so successful. The transcript has been edited for clarity.
CP: How do you describe your faith? It's difficult to tell from the Jesus Daily Facebook page, not that it matters, which particular tradition you're coming from.
Tabor: That's an interesting question. My dad is an ordained Independent Baptist preacher and with such a global site as Jesus Daily with the various denominations, instead of getting caught up in minor theological differences, I really try to get everyone to focus on a personal relationship with Jesus because that's where we find our common ground. When Jesus says in John 14:6 that he's the way to heaven, that's something we can all agree on, right?
I think that formula's been the success of the page in general because when the page was started there were a lot of pages about the Bible but there was little to nothing about having this great personal relationship with Jesus. I think that's refreshing to a lot of people. A lot of feedback we get involves that.
CP: What do you think makes Jesus Daily so popular?
Tabor: Well you know, we look at the comments and just having a good feel of it for five and a half years-plus working with it now, people like that they can have a personal relationship with God and the mind-blowing fact that God came in flesh to express His love for us and that Christ is here when he said come unto me ye who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Fans can be reminded on a daily basis of that. Hey, if you have health problems, if you have financial problems, if you have relationship problems, if you need guidance for your life and career, that Christ promised to be there for us to help us. That's a big reason the page is popular — we're simply reminding people that that's what Christ said and that we can ask him for the guidance and for that comfort and receive it.