Scripture: John 15:1-8
Cover the tables with white cloths and use red or blue napkins representing the colors of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Print social media icons. Cut out, laminate, and scatter them at the center of each table. Print a “profile” photo of each woman and use as a place card on the tables, along with their “bio.” Ask the women to print off their favorite Instagram photos and display around the room.
Make cupcakes using the social media icons as toppers, with red or blue frosting. Serve blue Peeps (flavored marshmallow candy) to represent Twitter. Prepare beverages that are blue or red, representing Pinterest and Facebook.
Now more than ever, we live in a world where people crave connection. God created us to be in fellowship with one another, so it’s no wonder that people long for social interaction. However, more and more, connection happens virtually, which is why we have so many social media outlets. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok are just a few that come to mind. And while social media is a wonderful way to stay connected with old friends and loved ones, I believe that God created us for so much more. I think we can all agree that connection is important, but how we connect is crucial. Let’s look at ways we can remain connected to one another and to the Father.
If we wish to build connections and relationships, we must get to know each other. Ice breaker games are a great way to do this. Here are some ideas:
- Ice Breaker Bingo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/528117493775959954/?nic_v2=1a6L6xdIp
- 2 Truths and a Lie: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/158822324347029834/?nic_v2=1a6L6xdIp
- “D-Ice” Breakers: https://www.pinterest.de/pin/36028865751904258/?nic_v2=1a6L6xdIp
Create a Women’s Ministries Social Media Page
If you do not already have one, consider creating a women’s ministry social media page on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. You can start a photo or scripture challenge where women post a favorite picture or verse each day. On Pinterest, women can share craft, cooking, vacation, or home decorating ideas. You can even create a unique hashtag for the women to share.
Invite a guest speaker
Invite someone knowledgeable in social media to tell about the pros and cons of social media. Invite a local blogger to share their experiences and some of their writings.
Ask for a volunteer in the group to coordinate and manage a corps prayer chain via email or social media.
Stay Connected! (John 15:1-8):
In John 15:1-8, Jesus makes very clear the importance of remaining connected to Him. In verse 5 He states, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (NLT). Did you catch that last line, “… apart from me you can do nothing”? In other words, Jesus is our lifeline, and unless we remain connected to Him, we are lost.
Recently, a friend commented to me that social media was her lifeline, as it kept her connected to family and friends during a very difficult period in her life. We can all relate. How many times have you reached out on social media when discouraged only to have friends, family, sometimes even strangers send uplifting words of encouragement that kept you going. Yet, as important as those lifelines can be, Jesus is our ultimate source of life, love, and connection.
Jesus longs for us to remain connected to Him and to the Father. When we do, we reap wonderful benefits. Bible teacher and writer Warren Weirsbe states, “Our union with Christ is a living union, so we may bear fruit; a loving union, so that we may enjoy Him; and a lasting union, so that we need not be afraid” (p. 355). When connected to Jesus, something wonderful happens in our lives—we bear fruit. We enjoy fellowship with Him, and we have the assurance that He is always with us. What beautiful promises. However, if we lose that connection, we will not survive. In verse 6, Jesus goes on to say, “Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.” In other words, there are consequences when we lose that divine connection; our lives become unfruitful and useless. We must remember that we were created to bring glory to God, but we cannot to do that in our own power. We must rely on the strength provided to us through our connection to Christ. Just as the branch draws life from the vine, we draw our strength from the Lord. But for this connection to last, it must be cultivated. Weirsbe suggests that “Abiding in Christ demands worship, meditation on God’s Word, prayer, sacrifice, and service” (p. 355).
Have you ever had a friend “unfollow” or “unfriend” you from their social media account? Upon discovering this, how did you feel? Lost, disconnected, hurt, even devastated? Understandably we may feel isolated and abandoned because we have lost the bond we once had with that person. Well, just imagine how Jesus feels when we lose our connection with Him? He and the Father long to be in lasting fellowship with us. John 17:21 says, “I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent Me.”
We were created to be in relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and with one another. Let’s not take any of these connections lightly, least of which the one we have with Jesus. He is the vine and we are the branches. And while social media is a wonderful outlet to cultivate our relationships with friends and family, let’s make sure Jesus is always at the top of our “friends” list.
Closing Song #219, The Salvation Army Song Book – “Because He Lives.”
Wiersbe, W. (1989). The Bible Exposition Commentary (Vol. 1). Illinois: Victor Books