What do you think about when you picture someone using social media for missions? Maybe you imagine a heated argument on Facebook, where an atheist made a snide comment about supposedly ignorant people who cling to their religion and the Christians respond by getting just as nasty in their defense. Or maybe you imagine long Twitter threads where a Christian attempts to correct wrong thinking, mostly by arguing. Or maybe you think of Instagram stories with a nice sunset accompanying a Bible verse and #blessed.
If that’s what you think of, maybe social media doesn’t seem so relevant to missions. But it can be. Social media is a tool like any other and what matters is how it’s used. A newspaper, magazine, or website is only as effective as its content and strategy and the same is true for social media. If you use Facebook poorly, you won’t make much of an impact for Christ, but if you use it well, you can make a big difference.
Using Social Media For God
Last year we published an Indigitous PULSE video called “How To Use Social Media for God.” The video includes simple steps that anyone can take on their social media accounts to make an impact, suggested by two experts in social media ministry. If you haven’t watched it, this can be a good way to get started or improve your current social media usage.
Our friends the Mobile Ministry Forum recently released a free e-book Social Media for Missions: An Introductory Guide, with the aim of helping Christians make better use of those popular platforms. Helpful for ministry professionals and your average Christian, the 114-page PDF has chapters on helping others find Jesus, developing strategies for engagement, and tips on how to use specific social media channels.
“Some websites address social media ministry, but it seemed to us that a relative newbie was going to have a difficult time pulling together the multitude of web postings to get a good start in social media ministry,” the authors say in the forward. “We hope this guide will help fill in that gap and serve as a stepping stone for those of you considering or launching into social media ministry.”
The book from MMF is a good mix of theory and practical tips. It explains the Biblical basis for the different types of social media strategies and good theoretical ideas for you to think through. In addition, each chapter has a number of practical steps that you can take on your own, shows examples that you can follow, and provides links to various helpful resources, anything from our own persona creation kit to a video showing how to create a Scripture graphic with the YouVersion Bible app.
If you’re new to using social media for ministry, have never tried it before, or if you just want to improve your results, we recommend checking out the Social Media for Missions e-book. Whether you read the entire thing or just the chapters most relevant to you, it could improve your engagement and your own sharing of the Gospel.