“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with people…” Evangelism is about reaching people who may never have heard about Jesus and those who might need a gentle nudge toward faith. Where are the people, you may say?
According to damandsage.com, in 2023, 4.9 billion people are using social media. And there are almost 3 billion users on Facebook, 2.5 billion on Instagram and YouTube, and 2 billion on WhatsApp.
As a Millennial, I have experienced the take-off of the internet, including the dial-up internet, fiber optic speed changes, the growth of social media, and the evolution of MSN Messenger to TikTok reels. Now we see that social media is not just a young people thing but an all-people thing. Everyone is trying to connect to find community. We, as Christians, are trying to connect – social media is the vehicle.
On paper, connectivity has increased; despite being more connected than ever, anxiety and loneliness are rising. This is a gap we can speak to. As I write this, I currently run a personal Instagram feed and a barely used TikTok account (which I need to change) which I decided to dedicate mainly to spiritual use. I share content to inspire, encourage and uplift others. I upload short motivational videos, clips from sermons preached, famous quotes from others, or words of wisdom from myself.
If you look at my analytics, they are average regarding followers, likes and views. This social media journey has taught me that you don’t need the most significant number of views or videos going viral (yes, that would be awesome, too); the biggest impact is adding value to those watching and listening. Plenty of times, I would think, ‘What is the point?’ ‘Is anybody listening?’ And it is at those points that I almost always would receive a message in my inbox or some sign that a difference is being made.
These are some recent encounters I’ve had online: ‘Hey, pastor, I just saw your video on TikTok, and I just needed someone to talk to, I am depressed, and I feel down…’ “Hey, I just wanted to talk to a pastor about some stuff going on in my life; I’ve been trying to seek God for answers…” “I am a 20-year-old university student going through a crisis. I would appreciate it if I could have a five-minute conversation on the phone…” These are just three examples from the past three months, and there are plenty of other personal messages – too many to add to this article.
I encourage you to use every tool to connect and reach people. Whatever it is, use it for the sake of the gospel! Yes, knock on doors, give Bible studies, preach from street corners, start a small group, lead house worship, and engage in community service, but don’t leave any stone unturned. Use everything in your possession to share the gospel.
Pastor Warren Gillin is an ordained minister who serves the Reading Central and Parkside SDA churches in the South England Conference, UK