Social Media has literally changed everything. It is the most ubiquitous phenomenon of our time! So, it only makes sense that Christians use it to further the reach of the Gospel. Call it eMissions, if you will (not to be pronounced as emissions).
Notably, it is incredibly easy to compartmentalize on social media. In fact, it is often an intentional thing. However, it is important that we show how our faith permeates every aspect of our lives. Especially, its interaction with culture. We may not always achieve this by posting a Christian song or quoting / captioning scripture. (Don’t worry, the table I’m shaking won’t fall)
See… it didn’t fall…
Some people think social media isn’t appropriately designed for complex (and potentially lengthy) discourse and they may be right. But, when we interact online; the opportunity, to show how our beliefs frame our thinking and responses, always presents itself. Seize it! It’s really about having the confidence to speak with wisdom, grace and tact. You’ll be surprised who could be encouraged by it!
But, let’s face it, generally being a Christian in this day and age can seem like being on “the wrong side of history”. You’re one Twitter / Pinterest / Reddit / Tumblr / Facebook / Instagram / [insert whichever SM is all the rage] post away from being labelled the unsavoury term of the season – and better yet it could go VIRAL! Oh the joy! The easier option is to not rock the boat, right? Whilst that is permissible, does this benefit God’s kingdom? I encourage you to speak the truth in the face of opposing views with wisdom, grace and tact.
Side note: Sometimes we (Christians) antagonize or make flippant comments and then try to spin the backlash as persecution. It’s not. Our reward (notoriety / fame / ela) is here on earth.
Zeal is important. Knowledge is importanter. People will ask tough questions. Don’t dismiss them and don’t be afraid to say I don’t know. This leads to me to my next point. Theology isn’t a bad word! Be encouraged to study the nature of God and its implications. The Christian faith is not fairy dust. Engage with it concretely and robustly.
Certain saints when they hear the ‘T’ word…
Your relationship with God will be richer because of this. There are great joys to be found in acquiring biblical knowledge. It will not turn you into an inorganic haughty Christian. Application is key, when acquiring knowledge always think to yourself: What does this mean for me and my community at large? How can I relay this truthfully and lovingly?
Wisdom, grace and tact are crucial to eMissions. Most platforms are designed to provide a constant flow of punchy information. We may find it difficult to fit the Gospel (and its implications) into X amount of characters.
If the topic is complex or lengthy, share a link to a comprehensive article. Also, do not be afraid to take things offline. Not every discussion must result in a coffee meet but meeting up (taking into account the constraints of life and discernment) may be helpful.
Equally, don’t be in such a hurry to move on to the next topic or person. If you are in a discussion with someone, take the time to state your case clearly. Be patient and always present opposing views in the best light – this doesn’t mean you agree with it. It just shows you respect the person, as a fellow image bearer and understand their viewpoint comprehensively. It’ll save you a whole lot of “that’s not what I said / meant” which only serves to detract from the conversation.
Sometimes, we may encounter keyboard warriors / trolls, they don’t really care to have a constructive discussion – their aim is to undermine and ridicule. You are well within your rights, purchased by the blood of the lamb, to dust your eSandals and keep it trucking. This may even mean taking an ‘L’ for Jesus – where the love of Christ constraints you from giving it to them ‘as e dey hot’.
It is written (somewhere),
Blessed are those who take an ‘L’ for my name’s sake…
Using social media can often feel like walking on eggshells or navigating through landmines. We can’t just drink water and mind our business. We must interact wisely and graciously.
Go forth into that group chat / timeline / story and to the ends of your WiFi. Preach the gospel!