Social Media Discipleship

I had a conversation with another pastor about two church members of my church that were fighting on Facebook.  He lectured me a little about the need to be careful with Facebook.  He’s 30 years or so older than me and told me “that is why he’s not friend with young people on Facebook.  They just don’t know how to control themselves.”  The advice he gave was sound, but the problem is that a 75 year old was fighting with an 85 year old online!

The world of social media is a new one for most everyone to navigate.  By that I don’t mean about figuring out how to get an account or follow somebody.  I mean figuring out how to deal with conflict, differing opinions, and even threats on social media.  There are many, many, many ways that a person can get in trouble online, and social media can just make it all worse.   And there are many ways that it is used to hurt, harm, and spread gossip rather than inform and unite.  There is one way, though, that you can use social media can be a blessing instead of a burden.  Paul gives admonition to the church in Colassae to “set their minds on things above,” and social media can be a tool to help others do that.  

Jesus command to go and make disciples made no provision for the which methods to use to do that.  Making disciples though is our command, and I think social media can be a great addition to other discipleship methods.  It even allows us to have a presence with those we wouldn’t otherwise.  

You probably know the importance of starting your day with God.  For many though, Facebook is often the first thing that people check in the morning.  For most it’s a habit, one done with out even thinking.  Facebook and God’s word could not be farther apart, except for the fact that it enable us to put God’s word in front of people in ways we never could have a few  years back.  Sharing a bible verse in the morning, instead of your thoughts on last night’s game, is a good way to help people focus on things above. Sharing short clips from sermons, songs you sing in church, or quotes from different people are all great ways to help people turn their mind off the world and onto God. It’s also a way to introduce people to writers, thinkers, musicians, and theologians that they would never have heard of other wise.  Social media can be a tool to broaden people’s mind instead of just narrowing their viewpoint.  It's a great way to connect with friends and family, catch up on news, and share photos.  But I challenge you to think about this way you can use social media also.  

Social media is too powerful of a tool to not use for godly purposes.  

Please hear me that this is not a substitute for discipleship.  Don’t share a verse and think you are fulfilling God’s commands.  Disciples of God engaging with others, laboring to bring them to maturity is the biblical example. But this is an additional way to get God’s word in front of God’s people.  Nor am I saying you can’t share your thoughts on last nights game. But be intentional about your social media use.

If a person from your church called you and asked what you would like them to think about today, what would would you tell them?  Social media can be a gift, a tool, to continually put Christ in front of friends and family.  Use it wisely.  


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