For a long time I have struggled with social media. I mean, if I have to look at one more picture of where someone ate and what their food looked like when it came out of the kitchen, I might scream. I get it you love your new nephew, but do we need an update every 2 minutes with the same expression talking about how cute he is. And everyone goes on vacation and we are happy you had a chance to get away and relax. A couple of pictures would be ok to scroll through… but when there is 47 pictures and most are of the scenery, it’s easier to just keep scrolling.
Alright, I might be going a little overboard. I am happy that you got to go out to eat, have a cute new nephew and had a relaxing time on your vacation, but what if social media could be more than this? What if we could use social media to lift up the name of Jesus? In John 12:32 Jesus said, “…if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.”
As a staff at CrossWay Community Church, we talked about how we can use social media to make a difference. I know some of the things we post will still be about what is happening at the church, but we do this with the understanding that people will hear a message about Christ and He will do a transformational work in their life. We also realize when we post on social media, people can hear about Jesus. So here are the 5 “E’s” we are trying to implement with our social media.
Engagement - People like sharing opinions on social media. And let’s be honest, it’s ok to have an opinion and be able to express it. What if those opinions were used to build up relationships and bring healthy discussions? What if the engagement we have with others creates a rally point to left up values that make a difference?
Education - Most people have their smart phones glued to their hands. If people are scrolling and wasting time, why not use this platform to educate ourselves on a deeper level. There are so many great blogs, posts and videos out there by some of the most influential people in our world. We want to use a moment to provoke thought and grow in our relationship with God. So why not use social media to educate ourselves and others?
Encouragement - We live in a world that likes to point out everything that is wrong. The sad truth is that we can use more encouragement in our lives. There are times when we need someone to speak life into us. What if we used social media to speak life through God’s promises He give us in His Word?
Exposure - One of the things social media has done is connect us all over the world. It gives us a way to know what is happening in the lives of friends and family when you can’t be in the same physical location. When it comes to our faith journey we want to use this platform to share our stories. Even if someone doesn’t have the same belief system as you, they can’t take away your story. Each of our stories are unique to us, and what a great way to share what Jesus is doing in our lives through our stories.
Events - We know, as a church, there are things that are happening and that people need to know about different events, as well as the details of those events. It’s not just to promote what is happening, but to promote engagement, encouragement and times of learning. Yes, we absolutely want people to come to different things we are having, but more than that, we want people to grow in community with others that help us in our life’s journey.
I write this to say we can be people who influence those around us or are influenced by the people around us. You can make a difference with your use of social media too. It’s become so important to people now. You can help us by liking and sharing what you see on social media so we can have a greater influence for Christ. Because when you lift up the name of Jesus, people will be drawn to Him and He is the one who makes a difference. You to can make a difference with your personal social media and make an impact in your circle of influence.
Pastor Tony Parsons