• Dean Thompson

Christianity in the Age of Social Media


Jesus told His disciples in the famed sermon on the mount, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Those words were uttered by our Lord nearly 2,000 years ago, and they are as true today as they were back then. But how can the Christian let their light illuminate on social media? It’s no secret that social media is widely popular in this day and age. Our digital landscape is ever-growing with about 2.5 billion users on Facebook and approximately one billion Instagram users¹, it’s not hard to see why. How should Christians use social media as a tool to spread the gospel? Friends, I submit to you that we can and should let our light shine on social media—especially since it’s an avenue that allows us to reach hundreds of people on any given day.


Try to Adapt


If you live in certain parts of the country, then you’ve had to experience seclusion from people for an extended period of time due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines. Many Christians may feel as if it’s hard to share their faith and spread their influence due to the lack of ability to engage with others in person on a daily basis. So, how is one to respond to the current circumstances? By adapting. We can use social media to make initial contact with people who need to hear the gospel. Maybe it starts by sharing a Bible verse (and the context behind it, if applicable), or sharing mini-devotionals that will hold people’s attention. As a rule of thumb, the average social media user does not want to sit and watch a 10-minute long video unless the content is really good. So try to share videos that are meaningful and impactful. Also, please make sure you review the content before you post it. So many times, people have gotten in trouble because they were quick to post something that had a good title without actually reviewing the content therein which did not always align with the poster’s beliefs.


Another way we can let our light shine on social media is by sharing the link to your local congregation’s worship/Bible study live stream via YouTube or Facebook. Due to social distancing restrictions brought on by COVID-19, many congregations have turned to live streams. This is an easy way to spread the word about your local church; all it takes is copying and pasting the link. You will never know if that person you’re trying to reach will come to Christ unless you take action. Social media, if used for good, allows us to take quick and meaningful action that will glorify our Father in heaven.


Words Matter


I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “think before you speak” before. Well, the same is true for social media. We must think before we post. Far too often, people post things without considering what type of ripple effect they may cause. We simply don’t count the cost sometimes (Luke 14:28). Social media is not the place to be disrespectful towards others or spread negativity about anything. Actions like that don’t have a place anywhere for that matter. Christians must be concerned about soul-winning (Prov. 11:30). For that reason, our speech on social media must be with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6). We can lose a soul simply because of missteps we make on social media. Our tongues can get us into a world of trouble (James 3:5-6), so it’s best to be mindful of what we say or post. Our words matter in every facet of life. Jesus Christ said man will either be justified or condemned by the words they speak (Matt. 12:36-37). It’s much easier to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15) than to have to backtrack on what you said or posted. If we don’t choose our words wisely, then our light could become so dim to the point that we are no longer recognizable. Our conduct as Christians must be honorable in everything that we do, and that includes our activity on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc. (1 Pet. 2:12). So then, even on social media, the golden rule still applies (Matt. 7:12).


God is Watching


There are many social media users who believe that they can hide behind an offensive post, but that’s simply not the case. The most important thing we’ve got to realize is our Father is watching every single thing we do (Prov. 15:3). Nothing we do can escape Him, and that includes our activity on social media. Let that serve as a reminder for us as we go about posting content we deem important on a daily basis. If I could leave you with one tip, it would be this: approach your posting on social media the way you think Jesus would. Before you send a tweet or comment on Facebook, just think: “Is this something Jesus would share?” Christians ought to be doing everything in His name (Col. 3:17). We are God’s representatives here on earth; we should desire to conduct our lives in a way that brings Him glory and honor (1 Cor. 10:31).


Final Thoughts


If you’ve stuck with me through this article, then you realize that I believe social media is a powerful tool. It can be used for good and evil—we’ve seen both ends of the spectrum. I encourage you to use social media as an avenue to bring lost souls to Christ as you share the good news about Him (Matt. 28:19-20). May God be magnified in your efforts!


References


¹Ortiz-Ospina, Esteban. “The Rise of Social Media.” Our World in Data, 18 Sept. 2019, ourworldindata.org/rise-of-social-media.


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