Last week, Kyle answered the question, “Would Jesus Use Social Media?,” with YES (if you haven’t read that, you should!). This week, we’re diving into what Jesus would do on social media. I believe this bold statement is broken into three very, very simple points.
He would teach. He would encourage. He would connect.
We see in Matthew 9:35 how Jesus traveled to towns proclaiming the Good News with those He came in contact with. Then, He commanded his followers to share the Good News with everyone they came in contact with (Luke 9:1-6). So, the greatest story in history was preserved as our story, as followers of Christ, today. How was it spread? It was spread through relationships (from when togas were a thing to business suits), it was spread through written Word (the Bible), and it was spread through preaching (on the steps of a temple to megachurches). Throughout all of the centuries there are two common denominators: Jesus and people. Through the Holy Spirit, people have been equipped to share the love of Jesus by any means necessary.
Today, social media reaches more people than any other public platform. With 80% of Americans using a form of social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, LinkedIn, etc.), people are being affected by the power of social media more than any other form of communication in history. And that leaves Jesus’s disciples with a lot of opportunity.
And, friends, that is a pretty big responsibility. So what would Jesus do?
JESUS WOULD TEACH HIS FOLLOWERS.
Jesus would take this unique opportunity to teach those who may not know His Love. Social media is designed to be a blank canvas that can be filled with anything us users want to put on it—which, as a Christ-follower, is a great responsibility. We should use this opportunity as a way to teach others about the love of Christ.
A few months ago, I changed what was posted on social media and incorporated encouraging quotes and scriptures in my feed. I saw something that was shocking. I saw that my followers shared story after story with me how those posts affected them. I recently posted Psalm 23:1-3 as the caption of an Instagram post. Someone commented “…I desperately needed this precious reminder today!”
This woman was blessed through reading God’s Word—and I was blessed through her.
JESUS WOULD ENCOURAGE HIS FOLLOWERS.
What we post on social media has the ability to encourage those around us. An example of this is a group of five 8th Grade girls who decided to use Instagram as a way to encourage their peers. Several times a day, kingdom.workers5 posts Scripture and encouraging quotes on their Instagram feed to serve as a reminder of God’s love in the midst of being a middle schooler. Have some of their friends made fun of them? Yes. Have they stopped sharing God’s love through their account? Absolutely not! They have been able to encourage middle schoolers in a way that reaches them where they are. They used their words and their platform to encourage others.
JESUS WOULD CONNECT WITH HIS FOLLOWERS.
Jesus would meet people where they are on social media. He would use this opportunity to be present in His follower’s lives and share with them the hope that is available to them. He would be present in those who were struggling and be available to those who are angry. Some of that would begin as a connection online through social media, but would be continued through face-to-face, offline relationships.
It is pretty easy to tell a person’s felt-needs off of the material they post. As believers, we have a unique opportunity to meet them where they are online, but also extend our relationship with them off-screen. This week, if you see someone struggling or over-sharing on social media, meet them where they are, but invite them to coffee. Or invite them into your home for dinner. Connecting with those who are hurting is extending the love Christ has for us.
How will you rethink social media? Will you use it to speak words of life?