I'd like to make the case as to why you should utilize your social media accounts for the glory of God. I'd like to share my experience with this journey of social media use, some of the people I've been able to influence, as well as some of the mistakes I've made, and instructions for how you can begin to utilize social media to influence people for Jesus.
I've seen people make two mistakes when it comes to social media use. One is that people over-utilize social media, they post their problems on social media, they use it for gaining attention, and spend far too much time on it. This extreme should be avoided.
The other mistake I've seen people make is that they demonize social media, and treat it like it's some sort of disease on society. They lament social media, and shun it. There is no reason to go to this extreme either.
Most of us use social media for rather simple purposes, we share pictures of our family and friends. We give people occasional updates on our lives. We post cute cat videos and inspiring videos of people helping others. Sometimes we post news articles, and recent events in our area. It's a way to stay in touch with friends and family, and even connect with old friends.
Before I even became a Christian I made use of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. I created websites for fun, and posted my writing online. But once I became a Christian, I quickly realized that everyone in the world needs Jesus Christ.
As I went through my life, over days, weeks, and months I found myself with only a sad few opportunities to share Jesus or scripture or the existence of God with people in my life. I had never been a particularly dynamic conversationalist. I had always had a bit of a nervous disposition. Yet I had this yearning in my soul, this aching in my soul to share Jesus with people I knew.
One day it dawned on me, I was connected to most of these people, my family, extended family, some of my coworkers, my friends, and acquaintances on Facebook, Twitter, and other media platforms. I could passively influence them toward Jesus and the gospel day by day, by occasionally posting to my social accounts.
So I started doing that. I started posting scriptures from Biblegateway.com's daily scriptures that come to my email. I started posting little blurbs inviting people to come to my church on Sundays. I "liked" a bunch of Christian pages, and joined Christian groups on Facebook, and started "resharing" pictures with Christian content on them.
Over time I was sharing videos from Christian apologetics ministries, articles from Christian websites and blogs, and I was sharing just all sorts of Christian content via my social accounts. I began to look for ways to connect with new people on Facebook and other platforms, with the hope that I could passively influence them through those accounts.
Obviously this was a somewhat unorthodox way of using social media. Occasionally people would become upset with a post, and begin arguing with me on the post. Sometimes I would try to debate them, sometimes I would simply not engage. Other times people would block me, or private msg me and ask me what my deal was. I tried not to let it bother me. Sometimes you have to stir things up a bit if you want people to know Jesus.
Sometimes we're a little too careful not to offend anyone in this world. Sometimes we need to take some risks, even risk offending others, for the sake of winning their eternal souls to Christ. Or maybe we're just afraid. But I was tired of being afraid. It was time to take action.
Though some people got upset by my openness at sharing my faith, I found that most people didn't really know what to think of it. But they watched and listened. I tended to gather a group of about 20-50 people who would like the posts, and occasionally interact with the content.
At first I didn't notice much of an impact. But increasingly, I started to notice people begin to reshare the content I was sharing. Occasionally I would hear a story of someone who had started attending a church somewhere. Some of the people even began attending the same church I attended.
Eventually I decided I needed to make a record of my faith journey, so I could help point others toward Jesus. So I made a blog website and began posting links to my blog posts on social media as well. I became increasingly connected at my local church, along with the pastor of my local church, who I think felt a bit uncertain about my social media posts. But I think he was generally pleased that I was trying to support the church and invite others.
Now during these first few years of social media interaction I made some mistakes. At times I would share personal rants about things. This is always a no-no. Another stupid thing to do is to make passive aggressive posts toward someone without naming them directly. This is easy to get away with usually, but it's just a nasty thing to do. Quite a while ago I decided to end my sometimes passive aggressive approach to life. It doesn't help anything, it's best to simply be assertive and approach people directly.
Another mistake I made, particularly in 2015-2016 was getting increasingly involved in politics, and I started sharing those viewpoints widely on my social media accounts. The result was that I lost many, many friends. Not just a few dozen, actually. Hundreds of people "deleted me" on Facebook and other social media platforms. I found that as I attended to conferences and other events in my organization I would find people who hated me, or disliked me, because of things I'd shared on social media. For the record, I think it's a good thing to share your beliefs, but I realized I had to consider what my chief goal in life was. And I quickly realized it was getting people to know Jesus Christ. So I largely discontinued sharing my political opinions.
Be thoroughly warned on this one friends: Share your political beliefs at your own risk. Nothing makes people madder than political debates. And the country is severely polarized right now. So be cautious, and consider people's feelings.
Anyway, the point is clear: Sharing Jesus Christ on social media is a great way to influence people. Over months and years, I was amazed to see people beginning to attend churches in my area, people I had influenced on social media! I saw people drawing closer to Jesus Christ. I saw people getting excited about Jesus and the gospel.
But it didn't happen in weeks or months, it took years sometimes of faithfully continuing to click share. It's very important to be dedicated and persistent. And honestly how easy is this!? We can influence hundreds of people from the comfort of our own homes. Since starting blogging, I've received over 600,000 views. It's not that hard. There are people everywhere, all over the world who have computers and internet and are looking for the truth.
Don't be afraid to put Jesus out there. Share his word. It won't return void. Imagine how many people we could reach if we all clicked share a few times on our social media accounts! It could spread and spread to more people, and go viral, and pretty soon we'd reach the whole world for Jesus!
We often assume that social media isn't really real, it's not real life, it's just computer stuff. But behind every profile is a real person who is active in the real world. Use social media to guide them toward faith in Christ. This is a great opportunity to be evangelists for Christ, blasting the truth out there on social media! So get to work! Start clicking share, and through so doing, change the world. All glory to God alone, I don't do anything. We don't really do anything. It's the Spirit of God working through the word of God, and the truth of God. Amen.