Scripture: Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
Social Media has captured the attention of the world. This ever–evolving platform that started out as a way to simply stay connected with friends has quickly become a world–stage for businesses and corporate giants to advertise to the consumer.
Social media takes on many roles. It is the master chameleon, taking shape as anything you want to use it for. While social media has become congested with unsolicited sponsored ads, there is much to be said about the great opportunity we have as partners in ministry when it comes to this platform giant.
Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” While social media has been around for over a decade, the year 2020 was when we realized how necessary the platform had become, not only to keep in touch with one another but to encourage each other and do ministry together virtually. That being said, the need for us in leadership is to gain some level of proficiency in social media. Instead of building programs for people to go to, why don’t we take ministry to the places where people already are—online?
Here are some key rules when starting, maintaining, or building a social media platform for your ministry:
- Attention is the most valuable commodity. Social media gives us an opportunity to have world-wide attention, which also means cultural reach. According to Statista, seven out of ten Americans are active on social media and have several social platform accounts
- Use social media to start meaningful conversations. Creative and encouraging content brings meaningful interactions with those who follow your account. Conversations through a direct message on Instagram holds value but not as much as a face–to–face conversation.
- Provoke spiritual practice. Don’t just invite people to a prayer event, invite your audience to stop the scroll and pray right then and there. One way you can do this is by posting a graphic like the one in this link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIyeG5mDX_t/
- Social media can be used as a tool for biblical literacy. For example, create a post about “Three ways to easily read more Bible” or “Here are eight Bible verses to help deal with disappointment.” Give your audience an opportunity to dive deeper into the Bible and its context.
- Hold tightly to the “deep, then wide” method. While you might feel the pressure to get all the latest social media platforms, we must remember to go deep before going wide. Work on building the platform you have before trying to juggle five different social media accounts.
- Social Media is not your digital billboard. While social media can be a great space to roll out new initiatives, resources and programs, it shouldn’t be used solely for that purpose. If you are only using your social platform to promote, you will lose engagement and your audience. A way to navigate how much is too much with promotional content is to follow the “1-in-5” rule. It is acceptable to promote new resources, initiatives, or events in one out of every five posts you make on your account. The other four posts should be creative content, such as a Bible verse in a trendy lettering graphic. Or a graphic of a text message that says something encouraging. But don’t limit yourself if there is content you enjoy on your personal social platforms. Ask how might you be able to replicate that content in a way that will engage your ministry-driven audience?
By earthly standards, David was unprepared to take on Goliath. The Bible says Goliath was over nine feet tall and covered in more than 125 pounds of armor. Goliath had the definite advantage against David from a human standpoint. But Goliath didn’t realize that in fighting David, he also had to fight God. Most of the onlookers saw only a giant. David saw a mortal man defying almighty God.
We all face different giants in our lives. Viewing impossible situations from God’s point of view helps us put giant problems in perspective. Once we see more clearly, we can fight more effectively. Social media can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible giant that is hard to figure out. In the hands of God, it can be the slingshot that enables you to live out Hebrews 3:13: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” in the current culture.
God specializes in helping amateurs like David make their aim sure. If David, did it with one stone and the power of God, we can too.
Lean into social media and start posting.