We spend a lot of time on social media, sharing about our lives, seeing what our friends are up to, and staying in the know about events in the world that impact us and those we love. In a recent episode of Indigitous PULSE, social media experts Mariana Pando-Romero (OneHope) and Maddie Garcia (Power to Change) shared how to use social media for God.
We’ve written a lot about tips for those spiritual conversation on social media, from how to consider where your friend is in their threshold of engagement to how to share your story in an engaging way. But one of the biggest obstacles is simply getting started. How do you break the ice and start those spiritual conversations?
Make a content plan
Mariana recommends creating a content plan. Instead of just starting a conversation without thinking ahead, take time to plan out the conversation and what content you want to share to start a conversation. Take time to pray for wisdom from God. In your plan, remember to start small. You need to get people engaging with you before you try to get really deep.
When meeting someone new or seeing a friend for the first time in a while, you won’t dive right into a very personal conversation. You’ll start with small talk as a way of getting the conversation moving and then once there is a level of trust and engagement, you can get more personal in the conversation. The same thing applies online.
“The first test should be asking people something about themselves,” Mariana says. “See how that post gets a lot more engagement than the one where you’re talking about something really deep. You can talk about deep things on the Internet but you need time.”
Use social media’s ice breakers
A lot of social media platforms have ice breakers built into them already, such as Twitter polls, Facebook recommendations, and a lot of options built into Instagram’s stories feature. In an IG story, you can use stickers to add a Q&A, a poll, and more. “There’s fun things that you can try there, even if you’re just asking people what questions they have about Christianity,” Maddie says. You can also ask people to share how you can pray for them. In addition to taking their requests before God, you can also use those prayer request to have a spiritual conversation with them.
Share your story
We already discussed this in a different post, but sometimes you need to be the first one to share. While it’s always best, if possible, to make the conversation about the other person, sometimes a person won’t open up until you have shared and modeled that vulnerability. If you share your story, use your content plan to cause intrigue, getting people to want to engage with you in conversation. Don’t put all of the information in one place and answer all questions someone may have, because then they won’t have a reason to reach out to you.
Whatever technique you use to start a spiritual conversation on social media, remember that no matter who you are or how many people you are connected with, God can use you to reach your own sphere of influence. “God has put so many people in our lives and we can make an impact,” Maddie says. “It can be something as simple as a social media post sharing a little bit about my life and how Jesus has made a difference. That could impact somebody’s story completely.”
Sharing your faith doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful. Just as you would share with your friends about your favorite restaurant, movie, or talk to them about an exciting new relationship, you can share about your relationship with God. If you plan it out and use the tools of social media to your advantage, this should be just another regular conversation that you have, but one with eternal significance. “In living out our faith both in everyday life in person and on social media, we can have a lot of faith that God can work through us. We may not always see how, but we can share our faith in different ways and leave the results up to God.”