Social media has gotten a bad rap in a lot of Christian circles. I understand it, I really do. Bad things have taken place in a lot of ways and I realize that not all of it is good. But, isn’t that, as believers in a dark world, what most of us have to learn to do? Live IN a world but not OF it? We have a choice to make when it comes to social media. We can go along with the crowd and use social media as a destructive tool.
But, friends, there is a better way. We can use social media for good, to encourage, to bring glory to God.
Being the Body of Christ in 2013 looks different than it did 20, 10, even 5 years ago. And that’s ok. God knew there would be facebook. God knew there would be instagram. God knew there would be the strife. But He also knew there would be those of us looking to do good and bring Him glory despite the ways of the world. I am not saying I’ve done this perfectly. I have deleted my fair share of threads on facebook that I never thought would end up the way they did. And that’s ok. It’s like life, I’m learning and growing and God is continuing to teach me – He is not finished with me yet! Praise Him!! I will still make mistakes. But, I’m not giving up. And I realize that social media does not take the place of IN PERSON relationships. I still love my small group dearly. I still need to meet friends for lunch. I’m not diminishing those needs at all.
Ways to Use Social Media for Good
1. Share prayer requests on facebook. I have done this countless times. I’m not talking about making snide remarks that have hidden meaning, “please pray for SOMEONE who was very cruel to me today.” No, that’s not what I mean. I attend a large church, I used to manage our prayer chain and I cannot tell you how many times I got on and shared a prayer request for a serious matter ~ someone in crisis, someone in the ER, a mission trip leaving town ~ and within MINUTES there were so many more people praying than would have ever even known about it!
2. As well as praying for others, you can use it as a tool to share the gospel. There are things my unbelieving friends have posted on facebook that they would NEVER have said to me in a private conversation in my home!! I get a glimpse into their world that I would not have otherwise. Enter into those conversations, don’t shy away from those that don’t believe the same things you do. Use these conversations as a way to get to know others in new ways, to learn ways to pray for them, and to pray for the times that you can share Jesus naturally on social media.
3. Share scriptures on twitter. I love doing this. I love reading others who post them too, because I love to see where God is working on the lives of others. Sometimes when I’m reading in the morning I get excited about a verse or a verse hits me in a new way and I love sharing those snippets on twitter.
4. Use social media as a MARKETING tool for non-profit ministries. I love seeing announcements from local ministries online. We have several in our town that I watch and see posting regularly. Maybe pictures from their latest project, reading their latest needs to see how we can help, reading about ways God is providing for their ministries.
5. Sharing about children around the world in need. Compassion does an awesome job of this! I see pictures daily in my instagram feed of beautiful faces around the world! These pictures remind me to get my mind off myself, to remember there is a world out there in need, and it reminds me to PRAY for MY sponsored children!!
6. Encourage those that seem down or struggling. I know what you are thinking, there are people out there just posting stuff to get attention. You know what I say? So what! Maybe what they really need is someone to give them Jesus! And, I firmly believe that we CAN give them Jesus on social media!! If someone mentions a struggle or concern or problem they are having – encourage them with Scripture or an offer to pray. AND THEN PRAY FOR THEM. Right then, right there.
7. Share the love and build unity. There seems to be a lot of competition among bloggers and such. Instead of always promoting your own stuff, share someone else’s blog that has encouraged you. God can use the words of bloggers to encourage my heart – so I know He can do it for others too.
8. Use Pinterest as a tool. Create a board of encouragement for other moms. Utilize all the fabulous resources out there and create a board for memorizing Scripture – not only are there so many unique ideas out there, but having this board and browsing these pins MOTIVATES me to memorize Scripture with my children. Now, I know it can be overwhelming. I’m not saying you HAVE to have pinterest to be a good Christian on social media. Don’t turn this into a legality, that’s not my heart at all. But, if these things are going to be a part of our lives – and I think they are here to stay – why not find ways to use them for good? That doesn’t mean I’m super mom and can do all of those ideas with my kids. But if I am inspired and only do ONE of them, aren’t I better off than I was before??
9. Use Pinterest as a reminder to pray. When I see pins out there of prayer cards, verses to pray for my children, ways to pray for my husband, I am encouraged to PRAY. I love that!!
10. I love instagram. I love it more than probably any other social media tool. I have seen those online who think it’s cheesy or too prideful to share pictures of your Bible in the morning. Well, I disagree. It’s a matter of the heart and I can’t see into anyone else’s heart. But, if I’m sharing with the goal of encouraging, God sees my heart and knows my heart and that is all I need. I love posting pretty pictures with scriptures on them/under them. I have come to love editing pictures, one of my favorite things to do…and putting verses on photos is one of those favorite things! Use it to be a BLESSING.
My word of advice for Christians on social media?? Pray. Pray before you post. Pray as you are reading. Pray when you get frustrated at such and such for posting something.
Let God into your social media world. I promise, He will use it for good if you let Him.