Making a difference through social media
Can social media actually be used to change the world? Simply “liking” something isn’t always enough, obviously. However, social media can be used intentionally and strategically to inspire the actions that do bring about change. Here are some categories of activity on social media that anyone can do.
Raise awareness. Those of us involved in missions generally think everyone is aware of unreached peoples. But that’s not the case. Sharing prayer profiles, photos, and statistics helps to inform people, and to raise the visibility of the unreached. Many people talk about their short term missions trip when they return from the field; but few talk about the places that no one “comes home from” (the unevangelized & unreached). It’s up to us to be advocates and raise awareness.
Highlight effective action. People need to know what they can actually do–and particularly the small first steps. Point out prayer guides, giving opportunities, chances to reach out to neighboring diasporas, opportunities to hear from missionaries, times to talk to agencies about candidacy requirements & training, and so on.
Point to case studies, testimonies and biographies. Missionary biographies in particular can help people ‘see’ what the life is like, how they might started, some of the barriers they might encounter, and the difference they could make.
Point out resources. When an agency or other entity shares a new resource (like a prayer guide, or an infographic, or other tool), reshare it as appropriate with your community. Ask people what kinds of resources they are looking for, find them, and post them back for the whole ‘community’ to see.
Motivate people to take part in larger events. Prayer campaigns like 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, and other similar events can both get people praying for the unreached and introduce them to others at events. The relationships they build with other mission-passionate people can help encourage them and connect them to more opportunities.
Make connections. Introduce the mission passionate to each other via social media. Help people get more missions news into their timelines.
Authenticate & debunk. With some tact, be sure to pass on good, credible stories–but also gently debunk stories that aren’t true. Myths about Muslims (for example, the “European Demographic Winter” scare) and other religions abound. Passing on good, credible, verified information from authoritative sources can help people think about these things.
Challenge those on your timeline with Biblical thinking about current events. What does Scripture say we should do about the foreigner among us? How can we love our enemies? What does it mean to reach all nations? Stand up for a Scriptural approach to life.
Social media is an important part of peoples’ lives today. You can add value and a mission perspective to those around you simply by choosing a few things each day to highlight and post. Consider it a “tithe” of your posts and look for intentional things to share, to be a voice for those who have no voice.