The Gospel & Social Media

UntitledI am sitting here in my home office preparing to preach this message at Southern Calvert Baptist Church this coming Sunday. I am so excited to have the opportunity to share God’s Word with His people. Have you ever thought about how you could use Social Media to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

In our church this coming Sunday, there will probably be between 300 and 350 people in attendance. According to the latest statistics, there are 2.3 billion people on the Social Media platform known as Facebook. The average Facebook user spends 35 minutes a day on Facebook. The average Facebook user has about 155 friends on Facebook. If each of the 300 people in attendance this coming Sunday were to share Gospel via Facebook, on Sunday, we could potentially reach 46,500 people with the Gospel. There are 8 billion video views a day on Facebook so simply sharing the live sermon during the service has the chance of being seen multiple times among the 8 billion views that day. Why do so few Christians share the Gospel on Social Media?

Jesus teaches us in His own Words to preach the Gospel and teach the Word of God.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”. (Mark 16:15)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

This is the final command that Jesus gives to His followers before ascending back to the Father in heaven. These are not suggestions. If we have been given the command, why would we not use Social Media as one of the avenues available to us to carry out this calling? Social Media is the modern day community gathering place. Jesus went to the community gathering places of His day to preach the Gospel to the people.

In this article, I would like to share some advice with you about how to use Social Media to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I. Be sensible

Social Media is a medium where information is consumed and presented. We have to be careful of what we consume while on Social Media and what we present to others while on Social Media.

“Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:6-8)

The word sensible literally means to have a sound or healthy mind. What we consume on Social Media impacts the health of our minds. We must remember to be careful when using Social Media that we do not allow ourselves to consume information that will negatively impact our minds. The videos that we watch, the music that we listen to, and the conversations that we take part in will either contribute to a healthy mind or corrupt our minds. We must be careful what we say on Social Media.

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:3-4)

The apostle Paul points out some things in the previous verses that we should avoid in our Social Media engagement. Filthiness in the original Greek means, “obscenity“. It is something that dishonors or shames (either you dishonor yourself or others by doing it or saying it). The next phrase used by Paul is silly talk. The original Greek word used is the word that we get “moron” from. It means taking part in conversations that you would never have publicly because of the shame factor. Social Media has made this a reality for us today. The final phrase that I would like to point out is coarse jesting. It means telling off colored or dirty jokes. In order to have a sound mind, we must not consume any of these things and if we want to preach the Gospel using Social Media, we must not post anything, like anything, or share anything that has anything to do with those three ideas. If we were to open your Facebook wall right now and put it up on a projector screen, what would we discover about you? Do you like, share, or post obscene things using Social Media? Do you participate in off colored or dirty conversations via Social Media. Do you like, share, and post dirty jokes via Social Media? If you want to be effective in sharing the Gospel by using Social Media then you must be sensible. You must not consume things that will corrupt your mind. You must not like, share, or post things that are going to corrupt the minds of others.

II. Be Bold

In II Kings 5, we learn of a Jewish girl who was captured and taken from her homeland. She became a servant in the house of the great general, Naaman. This young girl had been taught about the Lord by her parents. While in captivity, she did not mope around in depression. She still had compassion on the people around her. Naaman was a great leader yet, he was a man who suffered from leprosy and was tormented by it. This young girl showed compassion to her captor and she also showed a lot of boldness. She speaks up without thinking about her own good will. She is brave and courageous to speak out and offer help to Naaman. She was motivated by her knowledge of God and the compassion of the Lord. She knew the message of the Bible, the character of God as described in the Word of God. She is bold in sharing her message. Are you bold in sharing the message of the Gospel via Social Media? What obstacles keep you from sharing your faith via Social Media? This young girl overcame all obstacles and shared her faith. This lead to Naaman’s salvation and physical healing. I remember when Facebook first came out. I opened an account and began to use Social Media to connect with my family that lived a continent away. I was mentored quickly in using Social Media for the Gospel by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I began to share Bible verses. Then I began to share ministry updates with pictures and videos. I also began blogging (what I am doing now), writing lesson plans and sermons in article form. It was for me, to think through the lessons and it quickly made the lessons more practical. I would share all of this on Social Media via Facebook. When I went to my 10 year high school reunion a few years later, several of my classmates mentioned to me in private that they read everything that I put out on Facebook and that they had greatly been encouraged in their own faith. I had no idea that what I was posting was making such an impact. Praise the Lord that He uses His message to touch hearts and all we have to do is put that message out in the public sphere. Social Media offers a great opportunity to us. We must be sensible about what we post as well as bold to post the Word of God.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 4, Jesus is walking with His disciples and He is seeking opportunities to teach them how to preach the Gospel to all creation. They come close to a town and Jesus sends them on into the town to go to the market place. They are in Samaria so they stick out like a sore thumb. Their looks and speech set them apart immediately. People probably asked them what they were doing there yet, we see that they simply go in, buy what they need, and leave without sharing the Gospel with one single person. Jesus was not interested in the food that they were to purchase and bring back to Him. He wanted the disciples to preach the Gospel. The people of the town were ready to hear and respond to the Gospel. As Jesus waited by the well at the edge of town, He encounters a sinful woman who had come to draw water and leave. He engaged in conversation with her and led her to faith in Him. Immediately, she thought of her sphere of influence, the people of her hometown, and ran to them to share that message. Imagine if she would have had Social Media! The first thing that she would have done would be to take a selfie, compose a quick message, and invite everyone on her friends list to come and meet the Messiah. She wanted to share the message of the Gospel with those whom she knew the best. Do you seek to share the message of the Gospel with your hometown friends who know you the best, who grew up with you? Begin with your family. I remember that while living on the international mission field, I had a great desire to share what I was learning with my family members. I did not know how to do it since we were a continent and and ocean apart. Social Media offered a great opportunity. To make a long story short, I began a video chat Bible study with one of my brothers that led to a daily study with my Mom and Dad, along with said brother. After a couple of days of study, my Dad gave his life to Christ and was born again. We would meet daily for Bible study over video chat. I had no idea how God was using him. I kept encouraging him to share what he was learning with those around him. His response was, “they don’t want to hear it“. I asked him, “didn’t you want to hear it when I first started talking with you?” I left it to the Holy Spirit to open up doors. This was during an election year so we met one day over video chat and did a Bible study on “voting according to the will of God“. That was on a Saturday morning. We took Sunday off because I had church and was too busy to meet. Our next scheduled study was set for Monday evening. As soon as we connected, my Dad began to ask rapid fire questions, “what does the Bible say about abortion? what does the Bible say about gay marriage? what does the Bible say about capital punishment? etc.” I asked where all of this was coming from. He told me, “the lesson that we did on Saturday, about voting, I shared it at lunch today and ended up in a 30 minute discussion on faith and the Bible. These were the questions that I was asked and I told them that I do not know the answer but I know someone who does.” I asked him, “I thought that you said that they did not want to hear about the Bible?” His response was, “obviously they were interested, I was just afraid and making excuses“. Are you bold in sharing your faith via Social Media? What keeps you from doing it? What excuses do you currently use for not sharing?

The apostle Paul was a man who used the modern technology of his day. He knew how to write and so he used his skills to send out information to people who were far away from him. This involved using the Roman Roads and the Roman mailing system. These things were the latest technology of Paul’s day.

When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. (Colossians 4:16)

If we were to put the words above from the apostle into our modern Social Media lingo, Paul would have said, “LIKE my message and SHARE it on your wall“. Paul was bold in sharing his faith with the people around him, face to face, and he also sent that message out to people who were long distances away. YOU have the same calling as a follower of Jesus Christ. I have the same calling as a follower of Jesus Christ. One of the simplist ways to do this in our modern world is to share the Gospel via Social Media. If you are not sharing the Gospel in the easiest form possible, I highly doubt you are sharing in a more difficult setting like a face to face meeting.

III. Be Creative

I have already shared some of the ways that I have shared the Gospel on Social Media over the years. We are commanded by Jesus Christ, as His followers, to be creative as we seek to preach the Gospel to all creation.

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Use your creative, God-given talents to share the Gospel via Social Media. This is not an exhaustive lists. Here are just a few of the ways that I seek to do it on a daily basis.

  1. Blog – if you are reading this now, you are doing so on my blog. A blog is a platform for you to write, post pics and videos, and put out information for others to consume. I write an article based on the lesson plan or sermon outline of every message before I teach it live. It is mostly for me to organize my thoughts but, I have heard from international pastors, preachers, and teachers that they search my blog for topics that they have been tasked to teach on. If others can benefit from it, praise the Lord! I currently have about 1,000 articles on my blog that I started back in 2006.
  2. Online videos – for 52 straight weeks during 2017-2018, I recorded and put out 3 videos a week with Bible teachings to encourage the members of my church, as well as the people on my Facebook friends’ list. I do not have the time to do it currently, with all of my responsibilities, but I still attempt to do one or two a week when I can.
  3. Online Video Bible Study Group – I mentioned that I started one, years ago, when my Dad came to faith. Last year, I was approached by a dear friend and ministry partner who wanted to be discipled. We live 40 miles apart and it is difficult to connect during the week for a Bible study. We decided to hold a weekly online study. It grew from the two of us to about 8 guys. We took a break over the summer and now have begun again.
  4. Electronic Bible – Social Media and the internet have given us access to Bibles in almost every known language in the world. I was able to use the internet to smuggle a Bible study into a closed country a few years ago. I cannot give many details here but, basically, I was able to cut and paste Bible verses for a systematic study of the Names of God and smuggle them into a closed country via s USB thumb drive. I was able to disciple 36 kids on that trip and, the next year when I went, 30 kids accepted Christ as Lord and Savior and 18 people were baptized. This all came about by using modern technology, including Social Media.

There are many, many more ways to share the message of the Gospel using the modern technology that has given us tools like Social Media. Elena and I teach sessions at the Inductive Bible Study Institute of Eurasia where we equip students with the tools that they need to study and teach the Bible using modern technology. In December, Elena will teach a session for teens at the Timothy School in Cleveland Tennessee. If you have a teen in your home, he or she needs to attend this because I know that you want him or her to become a great servant of the Lord.

So, are you using Social Media to preach the Gospel to all creation? What stops you? What excuses do you need to stop making? What obstacles do you need to overcome? Are seeking out teaching on how to use Social Media for the Gospel? There is a great book written by my mentor, Vasile Filat, on using Modern IT for the Gospel. I highly recommend it. I helped translate it into English. I have linked to his Facebook page. Contact him and he can give you more information about getting a copy of his book.

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