Call me old fashioned, but I’d rather have a plain cup of joe than a bottle of kombucha. I’d rather watch a Cary Grant movie than the latest and greatest big screen sensation. Despite this old-timey appreciation, I do like social media—my birth certificate, after all, says I’m a millennial.
Through social media, I’ve discovered Christians who encourage my faith. Their posts have allowed me to dig deeper into who Christ is, what Scripture says, and what I believe. Clicking a popular hashtag allows me to see those same individuals engaging people and topics in a useful and Christ-exalting way (most of the time).
Additionally, I sometimes find old friends and realize by their newsfeed that God has graciously saved them, or I realize my new acquaintance is going through a hardship to which the gospel could powerfully speak. As a Christian social media user going on 12 years, I find social media offer an opportunity to build bridges with unbelievers, unite and grow believers, and strengthen face-to-face relationships with others.
Evangelism in Different Seasons
As a student, I used to plant myself at the local coffee shop for hours. I prayerfully waited for the next girl to walk in so I might sow gospel seeds. I often attended events for international students with the hope I’d meet someone who’d accept a dinner invitation to come hear about Jesus in my home. Evangelism marked my life every day.
Currently I’m in a new season, and evangelism looks different. Gone are the days of sipping medium roast coffee in patient pursuit. Now, as a wife and stay-at-home mom, the piles of laundry are roasting, and their aroma isn’t as pleasant. I’m still called to share the good news, as all Christians are (Matt. 28:16–20). And thoughtful social media use is one way I can reach out to others as I spend most of my days at home.
Through the example I’ve seen from some Christian tweeters, I see the positive effects of having a readily available social media app. Not to say there aren’t cons. We’ve all seen those as well—endless negativity, cyber bullying, neglecting personal relationships or responsibilities, or replacing time alone with God in his Word. And I’m not suggesting you avoid face-to-face evangelism and stay logged into your app. By all means, share Jesus in your neighborhood, at the abortion clinic, or at the park. But the digital age is upon us, and we have an additional opportunity.
So let us be faithful gospel stewards in our social media use (Eph. 3:1–3).
Social Media on Mission
Almost every business, church, or organization forms a mission statement to help remain focused. Why not form a “social media mission statement” for online interactions? I have one:
I exist on social media to proclaim the gospel, center topics on Christ, love fellow believers, seek the lost, and pray for the world—all to the glory of Jesus Christ my Lord. (2 Cor. 5:20; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 11:1; John 13:35; 1 John 3:16; Luke 19:10; 1 Tim. 2:1; Isa. 43:7)
If you plan to engage on social media, consider it another mission field, an opportunity to share the good news. Here are some ideas of how to share:
- Post a gospel-centered message or verse. (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 9:16)
- Search popular hashtags and pray how to engage the topic to exalt Christ and refute false teaching. (Eph. 4:29; 2 Pet. 2:1; Matt. 7:15)
- Pay attention to what your face-to-face friends and acquaintances post. How can you encourage them the next time you see them? Could this be an opportunity to pray, to share a verse, or to meet up with them? (1 Tim. 2:1)
- Encourage fellow believers you come across online. (1 Thess. 5:11; Heb. 10:24)
- Evaluate your own profile and presence. Am I consistent in how I post? Is it God-glorifying? (1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Cor. 10:31)
Having received emails from strangers around the world as well as from my small town, I’m encouraged. The nations are on social media, and so is your local community. You may never travel the globe, but God can use you to affect the world. The high school classmate you run into at the grocery store may go home and find you online. Your coworkers may follow you. Someone across the world may see your discussions and ask questions.
May each of our profiles be its own hashtag inviting others to explore the unsearchable riches of Christ.