At Indigitous Bangalore I got to hear my friend Janakan talk about Social Evangelism. It was a great talk, so I thought I would apply some of what I learned.
1. Newsfeed Test: why did someone post this?
I use three primary social media services. Each has a different use for me and each provides a unique spiritual insight.
I Empathise on Facebook
Honest confession, I don’t go to Facebook much. I probably would delete it if my work didn’t have me interacting with parts of the world where Facebook is THE social network. But as I scrolled through my feed this morning on my decoding walk I learned some things.
I learned people like to laugh, especially at people doing dumb stuff or getting shamed.
I also learned people like to celebrate. Whether it is birthdays of new teenagers, wedding anniversaries, or graduations, big things are happening to people and they want to share it. While it didn’t come up on my feed today, I remembered some poignant memorials mourning friends and loved ones who had died. There was even that urgent post by a friend whose son had been missing for a number of days.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. – Paul
I Learn on Twitter
Twitter is the social media channel I use the most. This is the first portal for information to grab my attention. This is the ONLY way I consume news. I follow the key journalistic voices from different parts of the world and let them curate the news I need to see. From there I jump out to specific articles on news sites. I also tend to hear about breaking news before it is published on the big news properties. This helps me be informed but also help me begin to pray as things are starting to happen rather than already finished.
And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake. – Jesus
I Worship on Instagram
Instagram is the favorite of my regular social media channels. I like it for two reasons:
Instagram gives me a behind-the-scenes look at what is happening. One of my favorite Instagramers is @petesouza. He is the official photographer for Barak Obama’s U.S. presidency. He is a great photographer, of course, but what is the best is his behind the scenes access he gets that no one else can. Same thing with my favorite sports teams, @spurs. I get high quality in-game photos and stats through the feed.
As many beautiful nature scenes you can stand. How many pictures of sunsets and flowers are too many? My answer is, you can’t have too many! Follow @dudelum for a different take on the expansiveness of nature from the Pacific Northwest/Vancouver area. Just beautiful. It helps me remember – all of creation is God’s creation, and it is giving Him glory.
But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. – Job
2. Take a Newsfeed Prayer Walk
Janakan’s point was this. Don’t just post or react on social media. Be thoughtful, patient and prayerful. After a stroll through my feeds I found myself thanking God for his blessings to others, interceding for the needs of others, and celebrating that all things are His.
What did you notice on your newsfeed decoding walk?