The Advantages of Social Media in the Church
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God… let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”
– Hebrews 10:19-20, 24 (ESV)
Social media gets a pretty bad rap these days. After last year’s election, Facebook was ‘blamed’ for the election of President Trump. It was suddenly the fault of a social media outlet that is supposed to support American’s first amendment rights of free speech. No matter how true that claim is, social media is a place for all ideas to flourish. It’s a place where those with differing beliefs can choose who can or can’t see the posts they make. Where they can make bold statements publicly, without the supposed consequences those statements may bring.
So with all the negativity surrounding social media, how is it a tool to help further the kingdom of God? I’ll first state how it can’t help… If we use social media to complain, showcase unruly or unfavorable behavior or something of that sort, then social media can become a window to see that we’re Christians in name only. But this incredible tool, that wasn’t available when the church began in the first century, is something we should use to get the word of God out to our friends and family. That’s who we’re connected to, isn’t it? How many of your Facebook friends are members of the Lord’s church? Do they see more of your meals, kids, and political beliefs than your spiritual beliefs?
I was discussing this matter with a friend once and they said they don’t put their spiritual stuff out there for all to see. I pointed them to Jesus’ teaching in His sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Then came the “but.”
“But I don’t want to push my beliefs on anyone.” Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:14-16 says nothing about, nor does it encourage you, to “push your beliefs” on anyone. It says to not hide your light but to let it shine. Sharing a Bible verse, a post from your church’s Facebook page, a devotional thought from your personal Bible study isn’t forcing your beliefs on anyone. It’s shining a light. You never know what door could be opened, or the lives that could change based on a few keystrokes.
We can use social media to build one another up to love and good works, as the Hebrew writer points out in the verse at the start of this article. If we’re having a rough day, one of the first things some of us do is turn to social media to vent. I’m not saying that’s the best way to go about it, but it’s something we often do. In those cases, if you see something like that from one of the brethren, then encourage your brother or sister. Point them to pertinent verses, personal experience, etc. to give them a way out of the discouragement they may be trapped in.
Ultimately, we can use social media to further the work of the church. Each week, we live stream the sermon on Facebook. After the live stream is over, it’s saved as a video on our timeline that you can share with your friends or family. Starting this week, I’ll also be posting the sermon audio to our website and sharing a link immediately following services. It’s something you can also share, and encourage your friends and family to listen to. I don’t ask this for my own glorification, but so that the word of God may be heard. This sermon series is a great one, because it deals with the basics of faith and belief.
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Mt 10:32-33).” Share your faith! Make your Facebook profile a Faith-book one. Maybe it will spark the conversation someone needs to save their life!
As always, if you have any questions about this article, or how to become a Christian, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can call me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.