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Facebook Evangelism: Does It Work?

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Unknown-2Last Sunday night I cried.  It was more like a small tantrum.  At the end of it, I couldn’t breathe out of my nose, I was too tired to stay up, and too distraught to go to sleep.  In a word, I was a mess!  The next morning, I got up early and prayed, went back to sleep and woke up to a text message that had the potential to resolve everything I cried about the night before.  A few days later, more of my prayer materialized and I immediately prepared to tell Facebook.  This happens to me quite often, but this time I knew no one would understand the weight of this miracle without knowing the details.  Without knowing about my breakdown Sunday night.  Without knowing about my constant worries over the past few months.  Without knowing the anxiety I carried and casted away, just to pick up and carry again.  How would I effectively communicate the miracle, if I didn’t effectively communicate the struggle?   

What social platforms offer is quite captivating and entertaining, but I often find myself wondering what it all means.  Is it really as harmless as it seems?  (Note:  I know all posts don’t have to be deep and spiritual.  Actually, they shouldn’t be!  Sometimes you just want the masses to know how delicious your mommas mac ’n cheese really is and you’re free to do that! #nomnom)  Is all this posting really “sharing” or “ministry?”  Or is it disguised to humblebrag or gain public approval?  If we, being storytellers and/or ministers, truly want to engage others, how much more impactful could our lives be if we told the truth?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should tell every gory detail.  Wisdom tells us that.  However, if we are open to sharing our peaks, we have to be open to sharing our valleys.  The nature of social media does not require true relationship and therefore does not allow people to understand the fullness of our stories.   So when presented with half truths, people we attempt to inspire are left disillusioned; failing to see real victories are in the journey.  The journey of how we held on despite wanting to quit.  The journey of how we gave up twice but by God’s grace we’re still here.  The journey of how we’re being sustained.  These are the posts that have inspired me.  These are the posts that minister.  They’re intentional.  They’re transparent.   And they’re posted for reasons that have little to do with “likes” and everything to do with purpose.Unknown

So does “social ministry” work?  I’d say yes, if we’re aware of it’s danger.  We can’t let Youtube subscribers make or break our day.  We can’t allow Facebook “likes” to determine if our posts are meaningful.  We can’t let Instagram trick us into thinking greatness is achieved without hard work and many trade-offs.  But most importantly, we can’t let our eagerness to share overshadow the importance of real relationships, the discernment of knowing when not to share, and the efficacy of spreading hope, love, humor and whole truths. 

#walkthetalk  #heartcheck

-Sarah

8 comments

  1. Wonderful post! I post ‘Jesus stuff’ on FB quite often. I appreciate the reminder to seek God’s wisdom on whatever we post. Love it! I have to let the Lord check me sometimes on when to lighten up. I have such a burden for souls & to see the Body step up, I have to be wise on when to use language of grace, and when to be a little more straight. However, I try to remember to use humor (for example Saturday I just posted a Rickey Smiley clip) LOL. I am learning about what I call divine balance. It’s not balance like the world thinks of, but it’s really ONLY what God says to do. I want to thank the ladies of God’s Chosen for allowing the anointing of the Lord to FLOW through them as you sing. You ladies are awesome! God bless!

    1. Good point about balance. It’s one of those words that can be misinterpreted to mean luke-warm. When in this context its more about being steady; not too far to the right or to the left. A synonym could be…wholeness. Thank you for your support and for reading/commenting on this post!

  2. Great post… Personally,I haven’t been on Facebook for a few years now and when I go through my hubby’s page I quickly remember why I left in the first place. Users of social media shoul exercise more “social responsibility” and be mindful of their readers and consider their content and the purpose of the post and what they’re aiming to accomplish. But I’ve resolved to just consider the source and proceed with caution.

  3. I’ve always argued against Facebook being the appropriate forum in discussing sensitive or deep subjects. Wisdom is definitely needed when addressing sociopolitical or religious matters on social networks. No matter how well-intentioned you may be in giving an opinion or in the re-telling of an event, inevitably someone will be offended or not fully understand the author’s meaning. If you share too much good, some will assume you’re bragging. If you complain too much, you become the complainer. *shoulder shrug*

    great food for thought!

    1. Agreed. I mean this is true when speaking to anyone that you don’t have an actual relationship with. Just a heads up to all those (me) who hope to inspire people through mass media. If the point is to be effective, here’s a way that definitely works.

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