According to the 2016 PEW Research Centre, three-quarters of Facebook users and half of Instagram users access their accounts daily. TrackMaven also analysed 51 million posts from 40,000 different social media companies and found that Instagram had the most interactions on user’s posts, followed by Facebook and LinkedIn.
Now, when I first gave my life to Christ, social media did not have the momentum that it has today. Most people only had Facebook accounts but now that’s all changed.
My dilemma back then was how much I could be involved with my social accounts and remain an undiluted Christian. At the time I believed that a Christian could only be a Christian in person. An online Christian didn’t exist, after all,
Jesus does say in John 17:16 “they are not of the world, even as I am not of it”, then I would back up my argument with Romans 12:2 which tells us not to be conformed to this world. Basically, I believed Christianity meant segregation.
This mentality is subconsciously how many Christians still think and it can create very negative consequences. I felt as though getting involved on social media would mean that I was a conforming Christian; so I didn’t. I did something even worse. I separated myself and my identity in Christ every time I logged on. I would sign into Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and leave my Christ identity and my new life at the door. I didn’t even bother posting scriptures or anything of the like and if I posted a faith related post they were few and far between.
Essentially, social media did a quickie on me. By the time I realised how damaging social media had become for me, how comparison had come like a thief in the night and stolen my joy, I had to go back to God to recollect myself. However, social media was thriving and I knew that cutting myself off completely wasn’t the answer, so I turned to the Holy Spirit to guide me in navigating these platforms as a Christian. The result was a series of scriptures:
Mark 16:15 | Romans 1:16 | Matthew 5:14-16
These scriptures made me realise that everything I do should have an end goal – the sharing of the gospel. I’m God’s representative and I have a responsibility to be a bridge that gets others close to Christ. I came to understand that social media doesn’t just include the obvious sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even Snapchat; it also includes the likes of YouTube, blogs, and podcasts. Essentially any platform with content aimed at an external audience.
So why then can we not use our platforms to proclaim the gospel, to show what grace, mercy and the gift of life from God can do in a person’s life?
This may not be in full blown online ministry with blogs dedicated to scripture study and testimonials, it can also be something small that still has a vivid blessing in the audience it reaches. A particular example I love is a favourite YouTuber of mine called Jackie Aina, who runs a makeup and lifestyle channel with a following of one million plus subscribers. At the start of each of her videos, she puts a scripture. Whilst to some this may be small, I personally believe it has a great impact. With her videos receiving on average of 150K views, an average of at least 100K people are being exposed to the scriptures she posts at the beginning. Something like that could be the reason someone opens up their Bible for the first time in a long while and before you know it, they’ve spent some time with God.
Representation is important! There is something about seeing the makeup guru you love or the fashion blogger you follow being bold about their testimony with Jesus. It encourages you to also be as bold. If they can do it, I can do it too.
Also you never know on whose page you might be shown as a suggested user.
That’s why I love Black Sisters Network so much and everything we’re about. A platform specifically dedicated for Black Christian Women, changing the narrative that the Bible doesn’t care about women or minorities. It’s a flowing relationship between the three: our gender and race are complementary to our identity in Christ.
All things were created by God, so all things should work to glorify him.