A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend the Flagship Military Missions Network Conference as part of helping to launch a new ministry for military women. Planting Roots: Strength to Thrive in Military Life was one of many military ministries attending the event.
It was a time to meet, share, learn, and collaborate with other people working to spread the gospel and minister to those who serve our country.
I signed up to participate with the social media think tank, hoping to learn lots of new tips since I am the social media coordinator for Planting Roots.
In our first meeting with Gary Saunders, head of Military Missions Network, I realized I was responsible for presenting to the entire group of 150 ministry leaders. Oh dear.
Before hitting the panic button, I prayed, relaxed, and then God began to show me how to approach the presentation. He reminded me how overwhelming and intimidating social media can be to those who haven’t grown up tweeting their every thought.
Before I know it, I’m standing on a chair, sharing a skit on social media. And who knew you could preach on social media as ministry, but God placed a clear message in my heart.
I want to continue to encourage ministry leaders to think of social media as a vibrant and fun part of ministry. Over the next period of time, I will be posting each Thursday on social media as ministry and sharing tutorials on various aspects of social media. I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned along the way, rather than claiming to be an expert. I’ll still be posting devos as well, but for a season I’m adding a new series to Ginger’s Corner.
Social networking is not a new concept.
Folks have been meeting people and introducing friends to one another for centuries. Conversation and sharing ideas is nothing new.
In today’s world, we’ve learned to take the concept to another level with the capability for sharing, connecting, and publishing of the internet and smart phones. The technology may be constantly changing, but the concept and need for social networking is nothing new.
Social media is about meeting people, making connections, building relationships, and sharing information. Now that’s not so hard is it?
For ministries and followers of Christ, social networking can be a relevant and practical part of building the kingdom of God. In fact, the Holy Spirit has been viral long before the internet, so resist the temptation to think that social media isn’t a viable part of ministry. The internet allows us to speak to many people all over the world. That’s powerful and not to be ignored.
In all the noise on the internet it can be easy to lose the true focus of social media–to build relationships and share information in the form of connections. I’ve read article after article on how to use social media for your benefit–to increase your tribe, sell your product, gain influence, and establish credibility. In many of these informational posts the focus is on reaching your goals rather than on what you can do for others.
As leaders in ministry or as individuals that have a desire to share the love of Christ through online interactions, it’s crucial to stay focused on others. If not, social media can become a game of self-promotion, and those who speak the loudest and most often count numbers and stats as social proof.
I believe that if we let God lead us by seeking His inspiration, heart, and creativity, we can share the love of God in authentic ways through social media.
Keep it real, be yourself, and jump into the game.
Remember that God has given you the truth and there are countless ways to share God’s wisdom and love, connecting with people via social media. Engagement and interaction is the name of the game regardless of the type of media you prefer.
Though the Apostle Paul never tweeted or posted to Facebook, he had words that are relevant to our participation in social media as ministry:
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4