We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said,“Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. –2 Corinthians 4:1-5
I feel like I’ve talked about Instagram too much lately. I mean, I just wrote a blog post about it a week or two ago – but here I am, beating the proverbial dead horse once more.
It’s not my fault! Instagram is too cool not to talk about! Social media in general is to cool not too talk about. You literally have access to talk to just about anyone in the world.
Social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck notes,
“It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.”
Now, just 5 years since Instagram was created, there are – wait for it – 300 million users.
That means that every post I put up has the potential to be seen by not dozens, not hundreds, not thousands, but literally millions of people!
100 years ago, the opportunity for any twenty-year-old to have a platform to speak to a thousand people – let alone 300 million people – just didn’t exist.
We live in a different time. A time where anyone can have their voice heard, if they leverage their social media platform correctly.
As Christians, we often neglect to realize that the social media revolution has provided us with a massive missions field. Take a walk around a store. Everyone is in the exact same position. Shoulders slumped, head down, phone in hand, thumb scrolling. It’s kind of depressing, and I would judge them, if I wasn’t always doing the exact same thing.
We would love to say, “Well once everyone stops shuffling around looking at their phone, we can talk to them about Jesus.” Well, I’m sorry, but that’s hopeful optimism. That time is never going to come. The world is fundamentally different. Smart phones, tablets and TVs are not going anywhere.
You might think, “That sucks.”
Well, you’re probably right, but that’s the reality.
May I suggest, that – rather than begging people to put down their phones and give us their full attention in the exact manner and location we would like them too – we should go into their phones, and speak to them through the platform they are focused on?
If you don’t know, I run all the social media marketing for Rooftop Missions and the Azlynn Noelle Children’s Home, so I live and breathe Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter every single day. My entire job is to get our causes, beliefs, and vision in front of as many people as possible.
We are a younger organization, so we are still growing our accounts. Comparatively, we are a bit smaller than some similar groups, but we are rapidly gaining followers. As I write this, our official Instagram account has 1,477 followers. That’s 1,477 followers who – I guarantee you – spend a large portion of their day in front of their phone. You know why that excites me? Because at that point, I have them boxed in. I can control what they see that day. When they chose to follow our account, they gave me permission to put missions, orphans, and most importantly, the Gospel, in front of them as many times a day as I want!
So when I post this:
I know – whether they ignore it or not – they were reminded of the glory of God. Or if I post a verse and a quick challenge, or a preaching clip, I am doing the best I can with my platform to push them to the cross.
Remember when I shared 2 Corinthians 4 at the beginning of this post? There are enough people on Instagram “proclaiming themselves.” (A pastor friend of mine recently pronounced our society to be selfie-centered.) Why don’t you start “proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord!” In the darkness of narcissism, self-centered ideology, and utter silliness, why don’t you shine a light!
The best thing is, you don’t need 1000+ followers to be a light. If you have 20, then you have 20 people to access with your faith every. single. day. If you don’t believe that’s powerful, I encourage you to read this story. A handful of 12-16 year olds raised nearly $2,000 to reach an unreached people group with the Gospel, simply by using social media.
Be a light. Utilize this platform for His glory.
I think it would be sad for us, at the end of our lives, to realize that we underutilized what might be the second greatest contribution to evangelism after the printing press.
Eric is a blogger, videographer, designer, and full-time missionary with Rooftop Missions. While in the US, he works to raise support to help fund pastors and orphanages in closed countries. When he is traveling internationally, he provides leadership training for national pastors, as well as documenting the trips through photography and video. To partner with Eric financially, click here.