Lives changed through an Instagram post

Lives changed through an Instagram post
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While attending Oregon State University, Susie took a philosophy class that asked her to attend a church service as an assignment. While at the service, Susie saw a young woman being baptized and found herself identifying with the woman. “I was surprised to see how many parallels there were between her story and mine,” Susie says. 

Part of Susie’s story was a struggle with anxiety. While on Instagram after the service, Susie came across the page of Cru’s ministry on OSU. It was there that she started interacting with Hannah, though she didn’t know it yet.

Hannah’s story

Hannah served the OSU campus ministry by managing its social media accounts, but at the time she was feeling overwhelmed and burned out. She was doing a lot of work creating content but hadn’t really seen much engagement. 

A ministry staff member asked Hannah to create some wallpaper posts with Bible verses. One of her posts was about an upcoming women’s Bible study over Zoom, and it included a verse from 1 Peter 5-7: “Cast all your anxieties on the Lord because He cares for you.” 

“This is perfect. This is something I needed,” Susie remembers thinking. That post spoke to Susie, with her struggles with anxiety and her desire to connect with others like her. The same day it was posted, Susie sent a direct message to the Instagram page, asking how she can get involved and take part in the Bible study.

“It really resonated with me. I felt like at that time I was on the right path and this was something I needed to follow,” Susie says.

Hannah responded to the message and was happy to give her information about the Bible studies, but she also wanted to take the opportunity to get to know Susie. Normally, she would have invited Susie to meet for coffee, but the campus was still closed due to COVID restrictions. Hannah suggested that they meet for coffee over Zoom, even sending Susie $5 over Venmo to buy her a cup.

A Zoom coffee meeting changes lives

While they drank coffee and spoke via Zoom, Hannah shared the Knowing God Personally tool, one of the tools in the GodTools app. For a few weeks, Susie attended Bible studies and continued to meet with Hannah, where she could ask questions about God and Christianity.

“After a few weeks of doing Bible studies and talking more about both of our stories, I knew Hannah struggled with anxiety as well. Just from hearing her past and her questions that she had growing up with Christianity, I felt like my thoughts took a whole 360. At the time, it just felt like God made sense,” Susie says. In the past, she had thought Christianity seemed unrealistic and unbelievable. “From talking to Hannah, all the dots connected.”

When they eventually met in person, Susie knew she wanted to follow Christ. She and Hannah said the sinner’s prayer together and Susie began her relationship with Christ. But she wasn’t the only one whose life changed.

“I trust God now more than I ever have after seeing just a part of His perfect plan in that He used someone so imperfect as myself,” Hannah says. “And that He used someone who had a bad attitude and a post that wasn’t posted from the right part of my heart and He can use that to bring someone closer to Himself.”

“Thanks to Hannah, I now realize how much of a Christ-centered life I want to live and how much I want to help care for others like Hannah has truly done for me,” Susie says.

How to use social media for God

The story of Hannah and Susie is dramatic but not unusual. There are digital missionaries around the world reaching people like Hannah did. Some are in full-time vocational ministry, some are students, and some are professionals who just like to spend time on social media. All realize the power that social media has to reach and engage with people in your area and around the globe.

You don’t need a marketing budget to make a difference using social media. You don’t need an official role as social media manager. You don’t need ministry accounts; you can use your own personal profiles. 

Last year we shared an Indigitous PULSE video about “How To Use Social Media For God.” If you’re looking for tips, inspiration, and best practices for using social media to make an impact for Jesus, taking the time to watch that video is a good place to start.

Run

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

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Photo credit: Yura Fresh from Unsplash

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