Summary: 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 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.